For the past 11 days, I have been eating, sleeping, breathing dive instruction. I am in the midst of my IDC, Instructor Development Course. For two weeks we train to learn how to instruct new divers. We learn from a Course Director and his role is to guide us through the process and exams. It is a very unique experience that is definitely once in a lifetime.
Our Course Director Casey Michael has been lecturing and mentoring non stop. Casey is not a large man, average weight slightly less than average height, very charismatic, and informative. His patience knows no bounds. His animated actions keep the class mostly on point, until the two knuckleheads derail it. It is no secret that he loves his job and that he is passionate about teaching others to be a Dive Instructor. What can I say, anyone that has me as a student has got their work cut out for them. Casey has taken it in stride. My other classmates are each unique and different in every way.
First there is Chris; a tall man, with long blonde locks, that flow like waves of grain in a breeze. He’s slim but not slender, has a good broad frame but not overly muscular. The picturesque surfer. His demeanor is not fitting to his looks. He’s quiet and slow to talk. Not because he’s unintelligent, rather that he actively listens and gathers his thoughts before responding. Chris has a goofy side to him that comes out once he’s comfortable. His goofy side is best described as Garth of Wayne’s World. Silly and animated, yet he flows back and forth from introspective Chris and Garth seamlessly.
Joe is an older man, not old but most certainly not young. He’s confident and knowledgeable, bringing a varied world experience to the group, really rounding out our dynamic. Joe is taller and of an average build. His hair is salt and peppered which adds a dusting of wisdom to his persona. Joe is dedicated and grinds away at the coursework in the water and out. Taking criticism as a point of improvement. Kind and helpful, he is always willing to help anyone out. I wish I had spent more time with him on and off property.
Sasha is a coworker from another location. His height is in direct conflict with his demeanor. Most people who are very tall live their lives trying to not be imposing. Standing with Sasha, he may tower over you, but you never feel small. His laughter is genuine and so is he. Sasha talks in truths and listens openly. Never diving professionally, his dive skills are pretty good, yet he hides an even more secret talent. He is an amazing guitar player. Never boastful and always humble; he picks up the goofball behavior to drop a note of wisdom out of the blue.
Our only female is Jess. Small in stature, naturally pretty and elegant, she can always be caught smiling. In the water she remains so still and fluid. Jess moves like a ballet dancer as she goes through her skills in the water. Each one of her skills is smooth and effortless like a jellyfish floating through the crystal clear water. Her grace and beauty isn’t confined to there. She’s open and always up for anything; happy to go out or stay in and study. Having her around has really been a pleasure for sure.
Last but most certainly not least is Nick. Nick has been by my side the entire class, filling in where I lacked. He has quickly become a close friend. Average in height with a swimmers body, broad flat shoulders. Much unlike everyone else his voice booms across the room and water. Nick is loud and a big personality. No wonder we get along so well. His knowledge has been an asset to the group. Bring in time working as a dive professional he has filled in what wasn’t there already. Loyal, friendly and compassionate he has been a great dive partner these past week and half. We will remain close for a long time.
The last person is myself. Loud, confident (intimidatingly so), Large in stature and in personality. My time as an outdoor professional and dive guide has prepared me for this challenge. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to have this experience with. I like to think that I brought some knowledge and a unique perspective to the whole group, with all the travels and adventures I’ve had. The only way to truly know is to wait and see. I can’t say I won’t miss them, I will. When we take our exams this weekend, this may be the last time I see a few of them.
I am reminded of a quote: “We will be forever known by the tracks we leave.” It is a two way street. We influence the people around us just as much as they influence us. I can only hope I left behind good memories for them, they have certainly left behind a ton of good ones and a few great ones for me. This experience has planted the seeds for many new and great relationships. I truly look forward to the next adventure with them.