How do two people that live in landlocked Pennsylvania get their first experience with scuba diving in November? The YMCA. That’s right! Our local YMCA offers a variety of scuba diving classes, including opportunities to begin pursuing becoming open water certified and we didn’t even have to be YMCA members to participate. How incredible!?
PADI, or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, is kind of the authority on diving and diving certifications. And PADI offers a a quick and easy introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world through its Discover Scuba class. We didn’t need any prior experience and just needed to be in reasonable physical health to be eligible to take the class. Registering for the class was super simple – visit the YMCA’s website, find the class, fill out some simple information and click Register. $30 per person later, we were ready to get our scuba on!
The Discover Scuba class promised that participants would learn a number of important elements associated with diving including the scuba equipment used to dive and how easy it is to move around underwater with gear, what it’s like to breathe underwater, key skills used during every scuba dive, swimming around and exploring and the steps necessary to pursue becoming a certified diver through the PADI Open Water Diver course. We did a brief introduction of safety measures and basic instruction and then headed to the pool!
The instructors were FANTASTIC and provided us with a mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device, dive gauges and tank for our dive experience. We donned our gear and got everything adjusted and got down to business! After the class, we took some time to capture our experiences.
Alexis’ Experience: I was excited but a bit nervous going into our Discover Scuba class. Since I’ve never been snorkeling or scuba diving before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect so I tried to go into it with a completely open mind. I struggled a bit at the beginning of the class, wrapping my mind around being able to breathe underwater and making my body comply with what I wanted it to do. Once I found my focus and calmed my breathing, things went really well and I had a lot of fun. But, it was definitely more difficult than I imagined it would be to breathe only through my mouth! Being able to hang out underwater, at the bottom of the pool, passing a pool toy back and forth was pretty cool and by that time, I mostly forgot about having to focus on breathing through my mouth. I’m really happy that I took the Discover Scuba class, especially alongside Josh, and am looking forward to getting better and better as we pursue our Open Water Diver certifications!
Josh’s Experience: Scuba has been a bucket list item for a long time. I can honestly say that after this experience, I am hooked. As soon as we got out of the pool I was ready to get started on my open water certification. You see, I am kinda like a hippo. I am way more agile in the water. We were very fortunate to have a very skilled and patient instructor, and I think that had a lot to do with our experience being so great! That was the coolest thing I have experienced in a long time!
The next step for us toward pursuing our Open Water Diver Certification is to sign up for the eLearning Open Water Diver Online training to start the training to become a certified diver. Since the PADI eLearning course for is a self-study class, we can complete the textbook work from home at our own pace – anytime, anywhere – and then go for the skills part of the certification.