The first day of the IDC Instructor Development Course, we all met in the classroom. I promptly went to the back of the classroom and selected a table in the corner. Why I do this, I do not know It’s not about control but more about being tucked away hidden from the gaze of the class and the instructor. I’ve always done this, hid away in the back hoping to go unnoticed. Ironically my adult self is completely opposite of my younger self. As a child I didn’t want to be the center of attention, yet as an adult I relish in it. It is funny what habits remain from our past.
We immediately dive into introductions and then a course overview, filling out the plethora of PADI paperwork. I hadn’t written so much by hand in a long time. I could feel the writer’s cramp coming along. I had to laugh at myself. Here I was just filling out my name, address, etc multiple times and cramping; where as a kid I had to turn in many I will not….. 15 thousand times, almost weekly weekly as a kid and never faltered.
Paperwork finished, we started to go over what a PADI Dive Instructor was and the skills and qualities that they need to possess. Michael would make each seminar/lecture entertaining, keeping everyone awake. The day would go by quickly as we would finish up the lectures for our first day.
The next few days were all diving and getting our skills honed; hovering, teaching, briefing, etc. Having been an outdoor guide for so long this came easy for me. I sometimes struggle when things are easy, I get distracted, lose focus, entertain myself, entertain others. I can’t remember a time that this wasn’t the case. In thinking back that explains the back of the classroom. I would hide when I couldn’t grasp something or I didn’t understand. Yet it also gave me a safe place to daydream and be distracted when I lost interest because I either knew it or got it quickly.
I slid by all the dives, skating on my past experiences, and feeling more confident with each following success. When we finally got back in the class, I started to grow again, rekindling a long unused talent; writing and speaking. I’ve always known that I do it well. What I haven’t had was a reason to write; no interest, no passion, no inspiration. Spending every waking moment with Jess, Nick, Sasha, Joe and Chris, gave me something I had been missing for a long time; a circle of friends. That group of friends that you can just go out with and cut loose.
We were told to write a presentation and had maybe 5 minutes to accomplish it. I furiously typed away, bringing in everything I knew about writing and speaking. I was prepared for this; I instantly remember a quote from a motivational speaker I listen to often.
“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” – Les Brown
I volunteered to go first. I wanted to set the bar. I had to set the bar. This was my moment to get back into the groove. To get my headspace back and continue with that inspiration I had lost long ago. As I talked and interacted with the class, I could feel it all come flooding back to me. The reasons why. Knowing the why, you can endure any how. By the end I had it back. I was going to keep this momentum for the remainder of the IDC. I did just that. I had my magic back.
With each obstacle that came my way I deftly danced through, as if i was in a musical, the music was playing in my head and the world was my play. I began to write each new objective quicker and quicker. Before long I had all the class work done before it was even prescribed. My confidence was back and I loved it. I relished in it. A little too much perhaps, though it was long overdue. We all know that feeling, you’re on top of the world and nothing can bring you down.
I had managed to get the magic back. The past two weeks had inspired me and filled me with those long lost feelings of success and vigor. Just guiding and interacting in small groups had become comfortable and stagnant. I was no longer reaching and striving. Motion is life and I hadn’t been moving in a long time. I had a long deep conversation with my good friend Sasha and discovered again that it is never too late to change your path. I need to enrich my life by enriching others. Guiding alone is not enough. I need to keep writing and speaking. I will keep writing and speaking.