Hi, I am Tiffiny Bond and my husband is Trevor. We are the parents of 3 wonderful boys, Austin, Gage, and Sterling.
It has always been a dream of mine to SCUBA dive. In high school, (um back in the late 80’s), I wanted to become a marine biologist. The thing is I couldn’t bring myself to learn to SCUBA in Kansas murky lakes and I was too scared to move to Florida or somewhere near the ocean. So this dream sat dormant for a very long time.
Now, Trevor and I never took a honeymoon. Not even a weekend away. So after 24 years, he surprised me with a trip to Jamaica. He booked us at an all-inclusive resort, including diving. My heart went all a flutter and my head went swimming in the big blue. I was going to finally SCUBA dive.
We decided to do classes beforehand so we weren’t spending our whole honeymoon studying. The resort was a PADI affiliate. Not knowing anything about SCUBA diving certifications, we thought we had to get certified by the same company that was at the resort or else no diving at the resort. We later learned that they recognize each other’s certifications. Totally naive on our part.
We reached out to the internet and a PADI dive shop came up on Table Rock Lake. We knew the area, so we booked the weekend training the end of September 2016, only 6 short weeks before we left for Jamaica.
The Certification Process
Again, totally naive, we didn’t even know we needed rash guard shirts under the “life jackets.” The dive shop had some t-shirts for us to wear. As far as the training goes, it was the basics: clearing masks, learning to read gauges, buoyancy control in the pool, etc. We were able to do all the book work ahead of the weekend on the internet. Books and/or the internet DO. NOT. PREPARE. YOU. mentally in any way for what is about to take place.
I was so over the top pumped up that I wasn’t getting “it” in the pool. Trevor, who is an E.R. doctor was just coming off a 7-night shift and was struggling because he was mentally tired and exhausted. Our Tip: Don’t be overly excited or mentally tired to learn this sport.
So after a few skills, we went over to the lake to do check out dives. Ooooeeeee, my mind went overboard and I panicked in the murky water. My instructor had to hold onto my BCD. If he let go and I couldn’t see him, I shot straight to the surface filled with panic. (Another Note: Don’t do that) Uuuuggghhh! There goes my dream.
Remember I said Trevor was tired, well his brain couldn’t overcome the tired and the murky water, testing of the skills, etc. So we decided I would finish that weekend and he would come back when he was not so tired.
At that point, I was in total trust of this instructor, who I had just met. My life was in his hands, as I was doing this by myself. He was so patient and understanding. I certified that weekend. Trevor certified the following two weekends.
Enter Extreme Sports Scuba
After we were certified we told our eldest son, Austin (21) he should certify too. Back to the internet we went and searched again. He’s in college and plays football so his time is limited. Because of his schedule, we were looking for a shop closer to us than Branson, that’s when we stumbled across Extreme Sports Scuba. We signed Austin and a friend up for their certifications. Trevor and I decided to go through all the class stuff with them, even though both of us had just certified a few weeks before.
It turned out to be so much more than a refresher course for us. The kids didn’t panic or have those fears like we did, cause it wasn’t just about learn the skill to certify, but learn the skill until you were comfortable with it, then move on. Also, the open water was great because they got to go on a little navigation tour first to get comfortable in the water before they were actually tested on skills. This was a very important part of the training.
PADI versus SDI
So, we’re not really sure if it was the difference in the PADI versus SDI approach to classes or the difference in the two dive shops. It could have been that Trevor and I were blessed to do both PADI and SDI, but we both highly recommend SDI and Extreme Sports Scuba.