Life happens, but then at some point, you can re-create yourself. When I was 50, I decided that life was not yet done. So rather than being 50 years old, I decided that I was merely celebrating 25, again. I learned to dance, to swim a mile, and to bench-press my own weight. I learned to surf. I learned to scuba dive. Now that I am 30 for the second time, I considered going back to school. But, I decided that yet another Master’s would not be self re-invention, merely a repeat. So, when my local dive shop offered a PADI Dive Master Course, I took the giant stride entry. I don’t have to do this. I am happily married, live in Philadelphia. I have a respectable and responsible career as an Investment Manager. I speak a number of languages and travel extensively. Life is fine, if I am 60.
But if I am 30 for the second time, then re-invention is possible.
I remember my first dive, in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua where I learned to dive. As I sat on the side of the bobbing boat, wearing 40lbs of gear, on a beautiful day, looking at the distant coastline, and breaking waves, feeling very queasy, I thought, “what the hell am I doing here?” Then though my mind came the lines, “if you tumble through the raging waters of the sea, you will not drown. Be not afraid. I am with you always.” Yes, it is part of a church hymn. My scuba instructor, Mark McKaye was next to me. Reassured, hand on mask and reg, other hand on weight belt, I back rolled into the Pacific. WOW.
Now 3 years later, I am a PADI Master Scuba Diver. Thank you Mark, who taught me to dive, Georgia King, Quepos CR, who taught me Rescue Diver and how to help people, Dick Walker in Utila, HN who taught me Wreck Diving and prefect buoyancy, Niels Jorisson, Curacao, who taught me how to breath to extend my dive times and all of the other divers and surfers in Central America who taught me so much more about life, while having fun.
And a special thanks to Derek Freres, in Philadelphia, my IDC Instructor, who is making me a much better diver and a dive master, and who taught me to laugh under water. All people with passion for diving and for life, who give such great joy to the people they train. The sheer joy of the first dive and the hundredth dive, the elation of each new skill learned and improved, the beauty and adventure of each dive site. “Do unto others”. Clearly, Investment Managers earn way more money than Scuba Instructors. But Scuba Instructors both in what they give as well as receive, generate far greater value. Bali would be a complete metamorphosis to offer the skills, grace and beauty of diving to so many fellow travelers.