A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Monday, August 29, 2011


Growing up next to the ocean, I have always had a love for it. When I was a freshman in college, I took a Marine Biology class. One or two of my sister's had taken the class and loved it. I thought it sounded interesting, so my friends Shawntel and Aaron and I signed up. It was easily one of my favorite classes that I took in college. It was like discovering a whole new world that had been hidden right in front of me my entire life. My professor, Genny Anderson made it so easy to love that class. She was so passionate about the Ocean and made class so fun for us. For our labs we would collect different types of seaweed and go tide pooling and collect things, we dissected and ate Abalone. It was awesome. I always looked forward to that class. Her and her husband were both Scuba Divers and had taken vacations all over the world to go diving together and we got to see awesome pictures of it in class. It was at that point that I was interested in one day getting Scuba Certified and seeing what the Ocean world was all about. Although I was interested in that world, I was also VERY scared of that world. You are completely out of your element. What if something goes wrong when you are deep in the water. A lot of scary thoughts go through my head and I always told myself that maybe one day I would do it.

Eight years later, it became a more serious thought. I wanted to start crossing things off of my Bucket List. I wanted to stop being scared of something that I had always been interested in, I was ready to do it.  I had other friends that had done it and loved it, so it made it a little easier for me to want to do it too, but I was still nervous about it. Now I just had to find a friend to sign up and do it with me. My good friend Desiree wanted to get certified as well! We talked about it and tried to plan when to do it with both of our crazy schedules. This talk went on for a year. Finally, nine years after I first became interested in doing it from that Marine Bio class that I took, Desiree and I finally got down to business and signed up for scuba class at Scuba Ted's in Springville.

On August 1st, our class began. Our classes were on Monday & Wednesday for those first two weeks of August.  There was one other girl besides Desiree and I in the class, the other five were guys, mostly pretty young. I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't really know what you had to do to get scuba certified. All I knew is that I was nervous. What if I wasn't good at it? I know that sounds stupid because you just have to breath... but I just worry about the unknown. Here is a run down of how those 2 weeks went. When you signed up and paid for the class, you got a text book. For the first time in a long time, I had homework. You read the assigned chapters before class. Then you go to class at 6pm. Then you watch the Video on the chapter that you just read. The instructor would then go over the most important things in the chapter and anything you had questions on and then you took a quiz on that chapter. The first class he taught us how to put our gear together, and then we were on our own after that. After the quiz, we would go to another room and gather all of our gear (vest, oxygen tank, mask, regulators, fins) and load it in the instructors truck.

 From there we headed over to the Springville Pool. Pool closed to the community at 9, so we usually had to wait a little bit until everyone would get out, we then put our gear together and get in the pool. We were in the pool until 10:30 or so. The first class we had to test our water skills to see if they will even let us scuba certify. This means you have to swim 200 meters and tread water for 10 minutes. After we showed that we could do that, it was straight to business. We would all go underwater in the shallow end at first and the instructor (Jerad) would show us what to do and then one by one he would have us each do the same thing while the rest of the class watched underwater. We had to do things like take our regulator out and put it back in and clear it. We had to pretend we were out of oxygen and use our buddies extra regulator, we had to flood and then clear our masks, we had to take off our gear and put it back on, we had to practice emergency ascent etc... I think the skills that I disliked doing the most in class were breathing out of air bubbles underwater, swimming without my mask AND when the instructor turned off our oxygen and we had to do the sign and hook up with our buddy and get their extra regulator and then do an emergency ascent. (I think I hated that one because I almost didn't make it on one breath) Looking back on it now, it all doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but even my second class (after being in the water and practicing some of the skills) I was still nervous. I would read the chapters for class and in the chapter it would tell you what you had to practice in the pool that day. I never liked the sound of what I was going to have to do and I hated thinking about these terrible things happening to me where I would have to use these skills. I would start thinking about it and get all nervous and I would want to back out. I even ended up telling Jerad our instructor that. He told me he wasn't going to let me go on if he didn't think I could do it and told me I would be fine. So I continued on. The funny thing is, as soon as I got in the water and started doing whatever skill, I was fine. Jerad was really nice too and always told me that I did a great job when class was done. The rest of the class was very kind and patient with me too and were always willing to help me out when I needed it. I really appreciated it because I was the most nervous one in class. I really liked everyone in my class.

* I know the underwater pictures are super crappy, but I just had one of those disposable ones. It is what it is and something is better than nothing. Also the bottom right picture is my class under water*

This was the drill for those two weeks. On our last day of class, we took a 50 question test. I was nervous about that test, but I passed with flying colors. After we passed the test we got our picture taken for our scuba certification card (which I am waiting for in the mail). Although we had passed our test, we were not certified yet. We had practiced everything that we needed to in the pool, but now we had to do a real dive. That is what week 3 is all about. That post will come next. :)

This was waiting for me when I got home. Rachel is such a sweetheart. She knew how nervous I was about everything, so it was nice to have someone that was proud of me for accomplishing my goal even though it was scary. I was very proud of myself!

Here is a picture of Desiree and I after passing our scuba test! It took up a lot of time in those few weeks, but we are both so glad that we did it. So happy that Desiree did it with me too. Don't know how I would have done it without her. She really helped me through the class. Thanks Desiree!


Lori said...

Great job Tracy! Glad you got through your class with flying colors! How cool to dive :) Maybe one day I will do it too.

Kristy said...

Nice work Tracy. Good for you for overcoming your fears and accomplishing your goals.

Lynette Mills said...

very proud of your attitude to accomplish things... you are awesome

jamie hixon said...

You are so cray-cray Tray-Tray, in a good way, of course. I could rap about your scuba certification. I am nervous just thinking about it.