We picked up our books and beginners packet, signed our lives away and promised to get everything done before the first class. And being the responsible students we are... Managed to put off our homework until we had something like three hours of DVD classes left to watch and two hours before class started. Class was great. I was so relieved to find that our instructor was a woman (yay!) and actually even a grandmother, she was great. Totally gave off that "I won't let you drown in the pool" feeling. Warm fuzzies all around.
By the end of the class we'd both nailed our final exams, and, not only, put together our gear several times, but also, knew the proper names for everything. BCD, regulator, alternate, weights, etc.
Up next was the pool.
The pool is actually something that the dive shop owner rigged up himself. In a warehouse, above ground pool for dive training. Think "silo" with twelve foot sides, pool liner and pump. Very custom and very brilliant.
As we got closer and closer to the getting into our scuba gear to go down I was starting to panic. Terrified actually. I'm still not 100% on the whole thing, but I was really not doing well. I knew that I needed to push through, so I kept going. I had a panic attack at the bottom at one point. If you ever start to feel trapped and have trouble breathing, the bottom of a pool is the last place you want to be. Of this I am sure. I signaled "not okay" and swam to the surface.
Our instructor offered to call it a night and go home, but I needed to finish, so back down to the bottom we went. And I did it. We successfully completed our ascent using an alternate air source. Then went back down again to play with a toy torpedo. Because diving is "supposed to be fun"!
Ironically, seven of my friends from around the country are getting dive certified this week. One mentioned that is was the hardest thing she's ever done mentally. I've not done open water yet, but I'd have to agree. I'm finding that so many people I know are divers and that it is very normal to feel really really uncomfortable under water. Like a fish actually. They say it gets easier. I'll keep you posted!