Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ran out of time at the CDTC... but this happened!

I started with some awesome aspirations to write a blog entry every day but by day three it became too much work to add to what I had to do already. I actually had to blog as part of a marketing contest we were doing so I didn't want to let my group down by doing this one.  More to come but the simple truth of the matter is that I passed the program.

I am a PADI Course Director!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day Two - PADI CDTC Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

It was an emotionally trying day.  As much as I tried I could not get over my nervousness.  The level of understanding and empathy that I have for my fellow candidates and for future IDC Students is something that, If nothing else, is the biggest take-away from this program.  That and the people that I am working with on my team.  They are simply the best.  We have people from all over the world on my team and they are amazingly talented individuals.   It is a joy to work with them and after today I feel that they will be people that I keep in touch with forever.  The other candidates are equally as talented, we have just been concentrating on working with our team.

So the day was supposed to be a day where we lecture in the morning,  do our first confined water presentation and out first confined water evaluation in the ocean in confined open water.  I had sat up late and prepared, double checked my outline and I was ready.   Then we had an announcement just before lunch.  We were not going to confined water in the ocean but were going to be using the pool and we needed to prepare our second confined water evaluation. We were given about an hour and a half for that preparation and lunch.  The nerves came back.

The level of perfection that I witnessed in the pool was awe inspiring,  the first three presentations given were flawless and it increased my anxiousness. I was the first evaluator.  Needless to say I was really confident but when you give a person such remarkable scores you get the feeling you may have done something wrong.   You see, as an evaluator we have to match the scores of the control or CD -Trainer who is also evaluating.   That has, in the past been something I excelled at so the only part I was concerned about was that I would miss something.  There were nearly 50 people sharing the pool.

When it came time for me to do my presentation I choked a little.  Got through it, knew I had made a mistake and also knew that I didn't have to be perfect just score better than average.  

When it was all over we waited for the CDTC Trainer to give us our scores and counsel us on the mistakes we made.  Other than being the last one to sit for it, it was the best experience because I was able to remedy my nervousness and self doubt a bit.   I had passed...  with a perfect match on the evaluation and only having missed two of the possible points on the confined water presentation.  I know that they will not happen again.

Passed the second day.  Win!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Day One of the PADI CDTC in Punta Cana, DR

Day one is complete and I have a new empathy towards new instructors and even those divers who are learning a new skill or taking a new class.  I have been diving with sharks, places no one has ever been before, under ice, and a myriad of other challenging locations.  Never in my life have I been so apprehensive as yesterday when I stood up and introduced myself to 50 of the most talented diving instructors in the world today.   I was literally shaking when it was all over.  I will get through this but I guess the enormity of it all hit me at that moment.

Today was about orientation in the morning,  standards testing and in the afternoon we had a rescue diver workshop and a confined water evaluation workshop.   As much as I thought I knew I learned a ton and I am happy to say I passed all the evaluation points that were needed on this first day.   The course directors who are running the course are top shelf, approachable and ready to help. They are there to take us from wherever we happen to be and make us better.  I have no self-doubt about my abilities after yesterday, I just worry I will miss something.   The level of empathy that I have learned and the people I have met just this first day have made the trip worth it.  From a standpoint of the connections I have made with people who I may never have met otherwise makes this a goal worth attaining.

Today we have more classroom programs in the morning then in the afternoon we are doing our first confined water presentation/evaluation.   We play the role of students, Course Directors and Evaluators today and we get to do it in the ocean which is really exciting.  

Mentally this first day was exhausting but the support we get from the people that are here helps a lot and the fellow candidates bring to the program a level of energy that is unmatched in my recent experience.

I am looking forward to today even though I am still a bit nervous, my confidence is growing.

Monday, June 13, 2016

PADI Course Director - Becoming a PADI Instructor Trainer #PADICDTC

This is an edit/repost from the Divers Incorporated Blog with an added dimension.  I wanted to let you know some of the details of my preparation and for people who follow me it will be interesting, for people who just follow diving, not so much.   You can read the other blog at

For the past three months I have been working on getting accepted to attend and then working on getting all my ducks in a row to become a PADI Course Director.  In non diving terms it is a position that will allow me to train scuba instructors and basically become an instructor trainer.   Its kind of a big deal with a lott of work involved.  I have to do a business plan, take tests, participate in workshops, take more tests,do some online training and basically prove to the powers that be at PADI that I am worthy of their confidence in me.  World wide only 50 people get the opportunity out of hundreds of applicants.  I am one of those people here to make it happen.

Long story short,  I didn't want to get this far and then mess it a up so I have been actually training for it.  I participated in programs to better myself and 27 days ago I began again the whole30 program.   I am going to keep on it for the duration of the program or until I really need a beer, whichever comes first. :)

I am in the best shape of my life. I even bought some new dive gear to be sure everything works as expected.  Today I feel fantastic and now that I am actually here and have gotten to walk around and relax I am ready.

So here is what I know.  The program that I embarking on is going to be an intense couple of weeks where they take you from wherever you are now and make you better.  They have a vested interest in you (me) becoming the best course director that PADI has ever seen. So myself and fifty or so other people from 20 countries who speak 5 different languages are going to spend the next couple of weeks working towards that goal.   I will know more after tomorrow but in case it really is that intense and I am unable to keep up with this blog like I want to the other basic understanding is that they are going to break the group up into smaller groups and that smaller group will consist of 7 - 8 Course Director Candidates who's soul purpose in life over the next few days  is to make the other 6 or 7 people in their groups outstanding course directors.  Piece of cake right?

In any case I am here, whole.  I have my stuff.  I am more relaxed than I was this morning.  Diet, habits, practice, paper writing, studying...   all have been my goal over the past two months.   I am ready for whatever they throw at us.

On another note this resort where we are at is beautiful.   The PUNTA CANA Westin Resort. It is a little too much in the way of a "timeshare" for me to be comfortable with it as a dive resort, but it has palm trees, warm water, sand and a bar.   All the necessities for what I will have to assume is the most challenging of the PADI courses.  I just do not want to mess this up so I prepped hard for it.  I am in great shape and a new path is opened before me.

Today was a long day of travelling and tomorrow starts early.