D. 33 Giving back is the greatest reward of all

Today was my first time diving with complete beginners. This German couple wanted to try diving, and what better place to do it than this remote backpackers’ camp, run by girls?!

I had spent quite some time with Andy (the guy), to share the tales of my first experience as a diver. I told him about my dread of going underwater, my panic attack on the boat, and about the adrenaline rush. I went on, telling my own diver’s story, and how much I had learned since then.

A day went by, and this morning, I found out that he and Frida had signed up to go on their very first dive with us. So I spent most of breakfast again with them, this time getting a bit more technical, and explaining the ear-equalising manoeuvre. I was careful not to overload them with information, merely taking a cue from their questions.

Frida was really tense, I could tell. So before we went for the dive, I told the Instructor about it. She took Frida with her to go down, and I stayed by Andy’s side. He barely had any trouble equalising, so we reached the bottom first.

We waited for Frida and Hannah to make it down as well. Then Hannah had them do the skills required before we could go on and do some exploring.

I stayed by Frida’s side the whole time, gesturing her to keep equalising as we went a bit deeper. I spotted a whip Ray half-buried in the sand, and signaled it to Hannah, who showed it to our buddies.

Andy got into some trouble keeping stabilised, which is perfectly normal for a beginner. But none of them encountered any major problem, and I kept checking with them all the way.

Hannah even discovered a baby shark and a blue spotted ray hanging out under a coral leaf, so I’d definitely call this very first dive a major treat.

We resurfaced, and though Frida seemed thoroughly relieved to be breathing above water (I inflated her BCD for her when she broke the surface), Andy was openly and vocally delighted.

Later than afternoon, I was walking towards my bungalow after having rinsed off and put away our gear. Frida was coming down, and as she saw me, she said:

« Thank you so much for this great experience! »

I could tell that it was sincere, because it felt great to hear.

Later still, I was cleaning my sunglasses by the restaurant, when Andy came along:

« Thank you so much for this afternoon, we are really grateful that you were with us, Frida felt so much better having you by her side all the time.

It was really amazing! You were so calm, it was so reassuring. And thank you so much for all the talks we had, I really hope you become an Instructor! And you should have a diving blog or something! »

Way ahead of you pal, way ahead of you… So « The Dive Never Ends » doesn’t have its first post up yet, but it already has a reader.

I’ve done it: I’ve shared my passion with someone else. Through words, conversation, I managed to convey that deep love for diving to another person. I even managed to break through the fear and apprehension building up to that very first dive.

Giving back feels amazing. It is the greatest reward of all. But in scuba diving, I can only do this for one person at a time.

By writing & working for a website, I can do it for hundreds, thousands of readers at a time. Granted, I don’t get an individual feedback, not every day. But I know. I know what I can do, what it means, even if there is no effective reward at the end of the day.

Giving back is the greatest reward. And I don’t need a pat in the back to know that I’ve done my job right. Yet every time I do, it’s always a surprise. That’s because I never take that reward for granted, I guess.

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