Remember as a kid, floating the letters around in your soup to make words? Doing that till mom scolded you for letting the soup get cold and now you had to eat it that way…. Well, mom is not here to scold you about letting the soup get cold. If you listen to some, you are going to be scolded because you were not trained in the right acronym.
We have all seen the blog posts, maybe even heard some of the “horror stories” on who did what and what were they thinking. But really? What does it all mean?
Now, I will not use a certifying agency acronym here. I will point out that I was originally trained to be a diver by the USN (ok, one acronym). I would argue that they are probably the most in depth training organization but some will disagree with that (someone has too). I also hold certifying agency cards of various organizations. So I have been around the block, seen a couple of schools of thought and even sit back and chuckle at a couple.
At any point in time, you can use our friend Google and put in X agency “sucks” and come back with probably a couple hundred thousand hits. At the same point, you can put in Y agency “is great” and end up with the same results. I could be so confused by all of this!
What does all this mean to you? The diver or looking to become a diver? Well, everything! First thing that I would recommend, make sure the certification is recognized around the world (there is no such thing as an online only certification. You must get in the water at some time!). Once you found that, follow your inner sense. Yes, I am telling you to follow your gut! Find an instructor that makes you feel comfortable. Find an instructor that can help you achieve your desires without undue stress and issues. I look at it like this, you want to breathe underwater, for some an unnatural act. Find yourself someone that leaves all those acronyms at the door and looks after you as a FRIEND. When you are able to find that, then you are able to become the diver that you want to be. When you find that, then you will want to find out more about this fantastic lifestyle with all the fun and adventure and pleasure. Heck, maybe you will even like it so much that you get other people involved. It only starts with you being comfortable in the water and having that trust of the instructor.
Ultimately, in this alphabet soup of certifying agencies we all come out fairly close to the same end goal. What you need to look at more closely, is who is going to get you to that end goal. If it suits you, go with it. Don’t get yourself caught up in the blogs and Google this “sucks” top 100 list. There is plenty of time for you to join that fuel for the fire once you are certified and an expert. Till then, you don’t need mom scolding you because the canned soup is cold. Besides, if it tasted better, wouldn’t we have ate it quicker than just playing with the letters?
- Mike Shea, The Scuba Shea Adventure