Yancy woolery: Maui, Hawaii

It is so important to share the journey of a scuba diver to professional path. It is a long road and a lot of work.  I chose Maui Diving and wanted to share the reasons why and how they helped. This about my personal experience with Maui Diving’s IDC.  I first decided to become a PADI Pro after my Rescue Diver course. I had some problems understanding the physics and theory of diving. I felt defeated with the thought of going more in depth into a subject that was not coming as easily to me as breathing underwater. I did the Divemaster and the Dive Theory E-Learning. I was getting through it but not grasping the concepts and ways to apply it. My instructor from my mainland local shop helped and I was able to figure it out. I passed and completed the first step in the pro path.  Whew! I was still doubting my certainty in the concepts and being able to pass more than the test. I knew that I had to be able to teach others. I had always thought I was going to do my Instructor Development Course at the local mainland shop. After all this training, I needed a break from my cold-water dives. I took the step to visit Maui to get a feel for what it would be like working in diving full time. Let’s be honest, we all do this with the hopes of becoming a scuba bum, and when does “island life” not seem like an absolute dream. I came to Maui and left the cold of Redding, where I had been training to work for a month in January. I realized as soon as I got here, after visiting prior, now diving and playing in these waters, Maui was where I wanted to live and work in the dive industry. I immediately started to inquire about the shops here which ones offered IDC’s.

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Lots of shops have them but knew there was more than just the shop. I had to learn about their Course Directors. I knew after my battle with physics, my mentor that got me through Divemaster was a key player in my success.  I needed the same in a Course Director. Maui Diving had an IDC starting in June just one month later than the one in Tahoe. I started doing some research into Maui Diving’s IDC program. I recommend everyone to do your research before making this decision. Not all IDCs are the same. Some do it over the course of several days and some do it over the course of several weekends. The first thing I liked about Maui Diving’s IDC was that it was done over the course of 10 consecutive days. Most IDC’s do between 5 to 7 days.  After doing more research, I found out that Maui Diving’s IDC is longer because they do 1 full day review of Dive Theory and Physics. Most IDC’s do not review this. This immediately caught my attention being this was the thing I struggled with the most. Take the time to understand all the components of this challenging path. It is not just about the schedule but about who your mentor will be and what they offer that others do not. It is a style and for me it was about the focus they take on the strategy to teach. I started doing my homework on the Course Director. Chris Adams was the one at Maui Diving. As we all know it was time to social media stalk and investigate honest reviews and other’s experience working with him. Internet searches all had very good reviews about him. Well, I didn’t just stop there, Chris’ mom could have left all those reviews! So, I went to the source! The next thing I did was called PADI, why not see what the organization says about him. After all, they are the ones that signed off on him. They immediately knew him, and it felt like on a personal level. They offered rave reviews. Everyone I spoke with at PADI highly recommended him. The most valued piece of advice they gave me, and trust me they ALL said the same, was if I had the ability to do an IDC with him, I should take it. This completely made up my mind I was doing my IDC at Maui Diving. PADI is not a small organization and the fact that it wasn’t a quick, call speaks to the integrity of his teaching. There was no, “Let me look him up,” or blanket statements.  They knew immediately!

I went into Maui Diving, and I met with Jessica, the owner. We discussed the process of signing up for the June IDC. The best part was the ease at doing this. They even offer financing for the cost. If you’ve researched the price to do an IDC, you know it is not a cheap thing. This was another bonus. Jessica and Chris made the sign up very easy and explained everything that I would need for the IDC and what I could expect. It was outlined and detailed so it helped me get my finances in order and the steps that would need to be taken to move to the next path of my professional jump into the deep end!

    In May, I moved to Maui and started getting ready for my IDC in June. Chris was available by phone, text, email, etc. whenever I had a question about the E-Learning or any other questions he had the answers. Day 1 of the IDC I was excited and nervous at the same time. Immediately Chris puts you at ease. He let us know that what we put into our IDC is what we could expect in return. On day 2 we started the Theory and Physics portion (my weakness) and Chris taught us formulas and ways to remember all the things we would be getting in our Instructor Exam, like no one else had done. I immediately understood for the first time since I had started my Pro training. He made it simple. After this the days blurred, and it was hard work and yet the most amazing time. Challenging and yet building the confidence in and out of the water that puts you into the best possible situation to walk into the IE knowing that you are prepared and ready to pass! Physics was now a breeze, and the next steps are all just more preparation. Long blog even longer, here I am taking my next steps and entering the Course Director Mentoring program as I start down that path to do what I have always dreamt of. I am going on my third year in Maui! Living the “island life” and getting to fulfill my passion each day. Maui Diving and their IDC program has given me the opportunities to do what I love with an amazing group of industry renown professionals. I made the right decision, and hope each of you do the research and find that path that leads to your future of happiness and dreams being lived not just dreamt.