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Old 05/01/2012, 06:11 PM   #1
pimp4cheddar
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So I guess SCUBA DIVING isn't for me... :-(

So after a long wait...this week was my scuba certifcation!

I went on Friday and picked up my mask, fins, weight belt, weights, safety sasuage, boots, etc...

Yesterday was my first day of training with included the classroom stuff along with some pool time (about 5 hours of pool time). Today was the second day and it was straight pool time (about 7 hours straight).


Long story short...this isn't for me. I felt extremely uneasy!

I was nervous…I felt EXTREMELY claustrophobic, hyper ventilated almost the entire time…choked a few times…I just didn’t feel safe at all. I was actually scared in there and all I can think about was drowning LOL. I had 500 PSI’s left in my tank and the guy next to me had 2,200 PSI’s left at the end of the class! I was really stressed out.

I felt this way yesterday, but I figured I’ll sleep on it and see if anything improves. Everyone else in the class felt great. I was the only person seriously worried and anxious – really really anxious!

I just left the store and took my paperwork back along with the rented BC, Octo’s and tanks. I can’t get my money back for the course and they just told me they have a NO REFUND policy for items so I’m screwed with equipment that I can't do anything with...



I can’t explain the frustration I feel right now…I just wanted to vent. It sucks that I’ve wanted to dive for years and I finally get my chance…and I freak out.

The check out dives are this weekend: Saturday at a spring dive and Sunday over in West Palm Beach at a drift dive. I’m actually scared to go as I feel I’ll freak out! I can’t handle myself in an 18ft pool…no way in hell I can handle myself 60ft underwater in the middle of the ocean…

Sucks………………….


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Old 05/01/2012, 06:29 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear, I just took my course as well and had a couple moments when i thought too much about what i was doing. Just try and focus and think about the beautiful things you could see under the ocean! Good luck, dont give up!


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Old 05/01/2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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That's too bad. But I understand how you feel. I've seen people like yourself have a hard time when doing my dive master training. And I think it's completely understandable. Breathing under water isn't exactly natural.
Pushing yourself to do something like this or to go along with the group, ignoring your fear, may put yourself and others in danger so be careful of peer pressure and how you are feeling.
I'd see if you can get some extra time with an instructor to just go down and lay on the bottom of a pool and just sit there breathing. Nothing to do, no drills, or skills training, just sit there and try to calm down. While sitting there, close your eyes and just concentrate on breathing. The more you do something, the more natural it becomes. And you may just need some extra time getting used to working at breathing underwater without having to follow a class and keep up with everyone else at the same time.
There wasn't enough details in your original post, but I'm surprised that with the difficulties you were having and the amount of air you went through, one of the instructors didn't come over and see if you needed some one on one help. Maybe approach one of them and explain the difficulties you're having and if they're un-sympathetic, you may need to look for a different training facility.

Sorry this first experience was a bad one. The ocean is a wonderful place to explore and relax. I hope you can find someone to help you overcome your initial fears.


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Old 05/01/2012, 07:36 PM   #4
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To this day, when I dive off a boat, the first 30-60 seconds I have a hard time getting my breating under control. But once I get more than 10' down, all that fades away and I'm more relaxed than ever. When I dive off the beach I don't have this problem.

My wife was the same way as you. She wanted to try it so bad, but she had some concerns/fears. I told her that if she has the slightest amount of doubt, then she shouldn't do it, and she walked away from it. She wasn't concerned with the breathing or anything, just with the 'what if something happens' part of it. She was scared she would panic and not know how to react.

With diving, it's hard to initially get your head into it, because as mentioned, the sensation of taking a breath under water contradicts one of the most basic natural instincts in your brain. Personally, I think that if your biggest concern is the breathing, that's something that can be worked on, and with time you might get over it.


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Old 05/01/2012, 07:40 PM   #5
pimp4cheddar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daplatapus View Post
That's too bad. But I understand how you feel. I've seen people like yourself have a hard time when doing my dive master training. And I think it's completely understandable. Breathing under water isn't exactly natural.
Pushing yourself to do something like this or to go along with the group, ignoring your fear, may put yourself and others in danger so be careful of peer pressure and how you are feeling.
I'd see if you can get some extra time with an instructor to just go down and lay on the bottom of a pool and just sit there breathing. Nothing to do, no drills, or skills training, just sit there and try to calm down. While sitting there, close your eyes and just concentrate on breathing. The more you do something, the more natural it becomes. And you may just need some extra time getting used to working at breathing underwater without having to follow a class and keep up with everyone else at the same time.
There wasn't enough details in your original post, but I'm surprised that with the difficulties you were having and the amount of air you went through, one of the instructors didn't come over and see if you needed some one on one help. Maybe approach one of them and explain the difficulties you're having and if they're un-sympathetic, you may need to look for a different training facility.

Sorry this first experience was a bad one. The ocean is a wonderful place to explore and relax. I hope you can find someone to help you overcome your initial fears.
I appreciate the post!

The instructor was PERFECT as was the facility. He stood by my side the entire time and made me feel better...but it just wasn't enough. I felt nervous and started to hyper ventilate. It was me...I didn't feel at ease.

The problem is I felt extremely scared and out of control. I did my drills pretty good...mask clearing, out of air drills, equipment removal, etc...but I was scared as **** doing them each and everytime. Kind of like a phobia...

I just didn't feel good. I was scared and felt really out of my comfort zone... My thought process is: If I don't feel comfy in 18ft of pool water...no way in hell I'm feeling ok in the ocean.


Let me save my life and the person that tries to save me in the ocean...


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Old 05/01/2012, 07:47 PM   #6
pimp4cheddar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kookie_guy View Post
To this day, when I dive off a boat, the first 30-60 seconds I have a hard time getting my breating under control. But once I get more than 10' down, all that fades away and I'm more relaxed than ever. When I dive off the beach I don't have this problem.

My wife was the same way as you. She wanted to try it so bad, but she had some concerns/fears. I told her that if she has the slightest amount of doubt, then she shouldn't do it, and she walked away from it. She wasn't concerned with the breathing or anything, just with the 'what if something happens' part of it. She was scared she would panic and not know how to react.

With diving, it's hard to initially get your head into it, because as mentioned, the sensation of taking a breath under water contradicts one of the most basic natural instincts in your brain. Personally, I think that if your biggest concern is the breathing, that's something that can be worked on, and with time you might get over it.

I'm completely with you. When in doubt...walk away!

I'm worried about what happens when I swallow water on accident at 60ft underwater? I can't just kick off the floor like I would do at the pool and choke and gasp for air at the top. I'm basically screwed...

That "what if" panic/concern is what really scares me. I'm far from a control freak...but that's just way too heavy on my mind...the entire time I just felt like I was going to panic and rip all my equipment off and gasp for air underwater - then I would think about what happens when I'm in the middle of the ocean

Very upsetting...


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Old 05/01/2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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I had kind of a 'what if' moment on my 4th dive in 3 days, when I was doing my final certification in open water. The first 3 dives were all the test dives, and all went very well. Then we did one final dive as certified divers, nothing big, about 50' down. Well, during the first 3 dives I developed an inner ear infection, and on the 4th dive everything just started spinning out of control. Basically the instructors described that they just saw me spiraling out of control as I was ascending. The only thing on my mind at the time was to keep breathing, and to take shallower breaths because I knew I was ascending way faster than I should have. Scared the crap out of me, but I'm still diving.


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Old 05/01/2012, 10:09 PM   #8
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did you do your practice runs in a fresh water pool? The buoyancy thing for me was much much easier once you got into the ocean.

Relax and take a deep breath.

This is one of the safest hobbies out there. The equipment has come a long ways and nothings gonna get you in the water (sharks, killer turtles etc).

I highly suggest you finish what you started but rationalize it more in your head, what’s going on.

You have the dive instructor there, the dive master(s) there....they're not going to let anything happen to you so RELAX!!!!!!!!

Using lots of air is normal, until you learn to trim out and move deliberately thru the water.

I can go down to 130', cruise around, work my way back up and finish my dive at 50', staying under for an hour.

This takes practice. When I first started, I used to call myself an air hog. I was always out of air first....always. Girls do better than guys at air management.

All said, if you aren’t having a physical problem(painful ears etc), try to work thru whatever fears you got going on upstairs.

This is a lifelong hobby that you can enjoy for years to come.

c


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Old 05/02/2012, 04:21 AM   #9
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Anxiety is surprisingly easy to manage. (Disclaimer: I'm a Psychologist who has experienced anxiety problems throughout my life).

Scuba is a wonderful activity for this, as the bulk of anxiety management boils down to breathing. Breathing slowly. Focusing on exhalation. Drawing each breath slowly. Consider a Yoga class or brief treatment with someone who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral therapy. This is a skill, just as much as clearing your mask or ditching/reassembling your gear under water. Practice will yield confidence.

Don't worry that your first open water dives will end quickly. You will improve. Drift dives are the best. Just establish your buoyancy, assume the flying squirrel position, and let the current do the work while you take in the beautiful underwater world! Keep us posted on your progress. This hobby can definitely be for you.


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Old 05/02/2012, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimp4cheddar View Post
…no way in hell I can handle myself 60ft underwater in the middle of the ocean…

sorry to chime in twice, really dont want to see you throw in the towel early.
not to discount anything, but you can make it back to the surface @ 60' worst case anything ever happened (dont worry, it wont).......but know that you could make it back to the surface, need be.

thats the reason these initial dives are so shallow.

youre gonna make some mistakes, but the name of the game is to mitigate risks, learn from everything.

keep at it bro, well worth it, considering where u live.

once you have it (certs) you have them for life.


c


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Old 05/02/2012, 06:13 AM   #11
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Oh, and I'll also chime in twice....

Last March I made my second trip to Cozumel, 20 years after the first. My skills were definitely rusty and the first few days I was first to surface. The last day was a deep dive (105'+) with a number of swim-throughs. I was given the opportunity to pass on these. Talk about primal fears! But I opted to procede. Oh man, what a fantastic dive! Creeping through tight passages, taking the time to really see what corals, fish and others have occupied. Took a couple of scrapes on my scalp as well. Just a wonderful experience, one that helps to laugh back at anxiety. A little anxiety is a good thing...keeps us alert. Too much is simply too much. I do hope you persist at this hobby.


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Old 05/02/2012, 09:22 AM   #12
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Well, we all felt like that to a degree. Yet, here I am 3000+ dives later. In the beginning "staying alive" seems like the only priority but believe it or not, as you master the skills, relax even a bit, it does become easier. But progress CAN NOT BE RUSHED. That is what causes accidents. My advice would be to don gear, go into the pool, go down slowly clearing your ears before you feel the need, and then just sit there. Feel your body in the water. Maybe be slightly over weighted in the beginning. It is worth it and the skills after a lot of diving become second nature. Just my two cents worth.


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Old 05/02/2012, 09:22 PM   #13
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That "what if" panic/concern is what really scares me. I'm far from a control freak...but that's just way too heavy on my mind...
This was the most important point in the whole thread. EVERY student and prospective diver has that same feeling, unless they are too young to understand, but that's a different problem. The fact you realize this is 75% of the battle. You get the other 25% from mastering the skills taught in class.

You've received great advice here. You just need more time in the pool. Once you get over that mental hump and realize your skills can get you out of ANY situation that can happen underwater, you will be fine. Outside of running out of air (I am religious about always knowing how much air I have and am using), I have had just about every bad thing you can imagine happen to me underwater, and I'm still here.

I could talk for hours about this, but I'll leave you with a quick story about one of my best customers and former students. A couple took classes and the woman took to it like a fish and had no problems at all. But the man sounds a lot like you. He was OK skill-wise, but wasn't comfortable. He wasn't comfortable doing the open water portion of class right after the classroom and pool work, so I told him to come back to the pool as often as he needed to get comfortable. I bet he came to 15 pool sessions over the next year and finally said he was ready. Now he goes on trips all the time and takes pictures and says it's the greatest thing he's ever done. He had to work at it, but he got there.

Scuba diving may not be for you, its not for everybody. But you sound like you really want to do it, so I hope you give it another shot.

Best of luck


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Old 05/05/2012, 11:59 AM   #14
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try a meditation class. Anxiety can be over-powering. sometimes you cant just tell yourself to be calm.. you need a process to help steady your breathing and relax. If you really would like to give it another shot, i would go that route first. good luck.


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Old 05/07/2012, 11:53 AM   #15
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Dont quit! Ive never gone suba diving but just think of the rewards. All fears can be conquered if you put your mind to it. The risk are minimal but there are risk with everything in life but the rewards for suba diving are just awesome! Wish you the best and hope you stick it out.


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Old 05/07/2012, 02:53 PM   #16
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I appreciate all the replies.

I read them all and decided to go and do my checkout dives...but it was too late. They had already filled my spot on the boat...so they told me they wouldn't be able to fit me in...

In order to schedule me back in...they want to charge me an additional $150 as they're telling me they'll have to put me into another class...even though I just need to do the check out dives.

I take it as a sign...it's all good and I can't do everything I want. I have a list of hobbies - believe me I do and my wife will agree: guitar, reef tanks, 3rd language, car modding, etc... the list goes on and on. Scuba was going to be added on, but I take this as a sign to go with my gut feeling. I didn't feel comfy the first time...I don't want to spend another $150 to realize I didn't like it the first time.



Thanks guys.


I'm now off to sell my equipment lol. The store doesn't do returns so I'm screwed.

If anyone wants any of the following...hit me up:

Oceanic Shadow Mask (Black)
Oceanic V8 Split fins (Blue) M/L
Walmart Snorkel
Weight belt with 18 pounds of soft weights



Thanks everyone!


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Old 05/20/2012, 11:26 PM   #17
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Ok, may be odd advice here but, it is what got me to the point of being comfortable diving...You might want to do some lap swimming as an exercise program and to get you more comfortable in the water. Take a year or more away from scuba classes and just learn to have fun being in the water. Then, try again, maybe start by snorkeling in a pretty place. Practice in a pool first. It took me over a year to not be nervous in water well over my head. Maybe we are similar. I enjoy being a certified diver but, I enjoy even more seeing the beauty of our oceans. Most of the time in Hawaii or at the GBR in Australia, I just snorkeled and it was amazing. SCUBA is not the end-all. It is just another way to aporeciate the oceans. Get comfortable in the water and give the ocean another chance sometime in the future.


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Old 05/21/2012, 06:33 AM   #18
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The store where you got certified should not be used again. Terrible attitude. I would never do that to one of my students.


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Old 05/21/2012, 06:39 AM   #19
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New in rc..

Hi all, i am new in RC forum.. can anybody tell me how / where to post my questions / query?


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Old 05/22/2012, 03:08 PM   #20
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Hi all, i am new in RC forum.. can anybody tell me how / where to post my questions / query?
Welcome to Reef Central! What KIND of question? We have a lot of forums so pick one that sounds as if your question will fit in.


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