Conquering your fears… a story with a twist

Posted by in Challenge, Change, Diving, Freedom, Life

The last thing I wrote was about conquering your fears. It was about a great guy, who’d been wanting to dive already for a very long time, and last year finally put up the courage to take the plunge. Literally.

When we got to the water with all the gear, and we went under, he almost immediately came up, big eyes, a hint of panic, and he said “Arno, I don’t think I can do this”.
But he could, and he did. You can read about it in the blog post here:

This success story got a fantastic spin to it, a sequel if you will, when not long after our guest returned home, he sent me an email.
From the time that he spent here, and all the extra dives he did after he successfully finished his Open Water Course, we already knew he totally fell in love with diving. He didn’t really want to leave, but he had to.
And then the email came: “Arno,” he writes after a brief, emotional introduction on how he also read my blog post and how he experienced his adventure here, “… now, I’m sitting here in the cold autumn, having only one thing on my mind: how can I become a dive instructor! Does that sound to you as stupid as it sometimes feels to me? … But there are still some fears and so I would love to hear about your experiences in leaving your common life you lived here, moving to Camiguin. And your opinion about my idea. And do you think it’s realistic?”

So there I was… reading and re-reading his mail, actually with a bit of a lump in my throat, because it was so great to work with him, and to see him grow and to succeed in the goals he had set for himself, but also because what I’m seeing happening here is in many ways an exact copy of what happened to me. He’s asking me if things sound as stupid to me as they do to him, and in my mind I’m like “You’re asking ME? You’re asking the one person who did EXACTLY that?”
I did my first dive, and just over a year later I was a dive instructor, had packed all my bags and left my old life behind.
“Did it sound as stupid to me as it did to him?”
Hell no!
Is it realistic?”
Hell yes!!!

So over the course of the next months we were in contact about a good many things, and he ended up buying all his own equipment, and he booked a trip back here to do all the courses up to Dive Master with me. I’m thrilled!
He is as well, and I’ll be looking forward to doing this with him!

I was honest with him, though.
Unless you manage to get a job in a very busy place where you get to certify hundreds of people per year, there’s no money in being a dive instructor. It’s a life style. You do it for the love of diving, and for the love of teaching.
But even before that, he’ll have a rough road ahead. The road to Dive Master is not going to be easy, and I will definitely not make it easy on him.
But I have confidence that he can do it.

And I  believe he will make a fantastic instructor, and already now I know that if I were to have a vacant place for dive instructor, I would have no hesitation to hire him.
He knows what it’s like to having to take it slow, he knows what it’s like if you’re not “getting it” immediately, and he knows how important it is to have patience. And most importantly, he knows what it’s like to face your fears and deal with the limitations you might have.

The coming period will be an exciting one. It will be a journey of progress, of facing more fears, and more victories. I’m sure of that.
But at the end of it the dive community will be a very competent pro richer come July.