Houston, we have a problem!! Nothing like a little gut check to be you back to Earth. The day started innocently enough. A little bus ride to a little resort and a little surface swim out to do a little skill training and then encountering a little problem.

And then I woke up. An hour bus ride to a mega resort, a monster surface swim completed 3 times round trip, a little surface skill with a huge mistake.

Alright, it wasn’t really that bad (the surface swim was) and I recovered from the mistake. During the CDTC we are being graded as we present and also as we evaluate. The presentations take place in the classroom, pool, confined water and open water. They include material from any and all PADI courses, from Open Water, Adavnced, Rescue, Divemasters, Specialities and of course Instructor Course like the IDC, Specialty Instructor and IDC Staff.

My first skill was the 50 yd compass surface swim from the Open Water course. Normally most instructors will do this in small groups but I went conservative and started one at a time. Waste of time!! (and I got dinged on it). But my biggest screw up was catching a problem and then not restarting, thus while he finished the skill correctly, he did not meet the performance requirement of doing it correctly for 50 yards.

Rescue assessments and the afternoon presentations went much better but after it was all said and done, the morning was the best part. Bear with me, the best part was the failure. Up to that point I was breezing along. I was scoring pretty much max points on everything. I was having a blast and probably acting a little too cavalier. This was the proverbial slap to the face that woke me up. This is the counseling point that will stay with me through all my future courses. Empathy is a word that was stressed at the start of the week. Empathy for your fellow candidates here and future candidates in the future. I have empathy!!!