Learning the art of Scuba Diving

The first time I sat on my anchor chair at RightThisMinute and saw a slew of extreme sports videos I knew the daredevil in me had been stirred. My goodness, I wanted so bad to be the race car driver going 150MPH on a track. Or the skier jumping off a helicopter to ski the mountain top powder. Or the wingsuit pilot that was “Grinding the Crack.” Granted, I’ll continue living vicariously through Jeb Corliss when it comes to wingsuit flying, but there are a number of sports I can more easily put under my belt. Like scuba diving. Don’t laugh!


I must say: I’m terrified of sharks. The thought of encountering sharks in open water sends a chill down my back. BUT, the idea of facing that fear is more fascinating than fear itself. So, I reached out to a good friend and PADI dive instructor, Jeff Ranby, to help me get certified. He’s been teaching for years and has traveled around the world on diving adventures. It was time for us to get to work.

I also got my friends Sol and Leonardo to get certified with me and after syncing up our busy schedules we made it happen. Leo manages a cute boutique hotel in Arizona and we were able to use their pool for the “confined water dive” portion of the certification. I must say… the sunny winters in Arizona are pretty awesome!


I’m very excited to share this experience with one of my best friends, Sol Ballard. She is a fantastic inspirational speaker who once was bullied because of her […]  mixed ethnicity and that fabulous hair.We get a chuckle about that now because so many people today wish they had her hair. Myself included.


Ahhhh!!! Here we go! Getting the gear on was sooo exciting… and VERY heavy. Notice Jeff’s toes are bandaged up. Just days before our training an oxygen tank fell on his toes and broke two them. I love that it’s not stopping him!




That’s me on the right completely underwater in the picture above. Jeff was very patient with us because we were a very chatty group with a million questions. He answered all of them and really took his time explaining what we were doing and why. From regulators, to octopuses, to valves, to straps, to BCDs, he explained it all!


Oh, yeah, and then there was the classwork portion. Obviously, my least favorite part of the certification, but still very interesting to learn the diving tables and about this altered state of consciousness that occurs at depth called nitrogen narcosis (AKA the martini effect). Whaaa?!


#VeraSwag tip: You can do this too. I read some comments on the post that RightThisMinute shared about my goals this year and I noticed some followers immediately discarded the possibility for themselves because of financial limitations. Think about purchasing a Groupon in your area. You can also gather a group of friends and ask around for a group discount. Get creative on how you can save money. Anything is possible with a little planning.  I’ve seen my friends with incomes less than $40k/yr take yearly trips around the world with just a little budgeting. Their advice: Budget, live within your means, and save! Also, keep in mind that a vacation can be close to home too. Staycations are fun adventures as well!

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4 responses to “Learning the art of Scuba Diving

  • Derek

    i did the same thing a LONG time ago at Club Med. Trained in the pool for a few days and then did an open water dive kind of near Baja. Thing is that it was plankton season so visibility wasn’t so great.

    That and my neutral buoyancy belt kept shifting so I spent a lot of time scooting along the ocean floor on my butt like some giant rubber suited freaky crab…

    Still I was at Club Med so had a BLAST!!

    • Christian Vera

      Hahaha! Derek, I can totally picture you on your butt under the sea. That’s pretty hysterical 🙂 I can’t wait to have my first experience hehehe hopefully it’s as fun as yours.

      • Derek

        I would’ve thought it funny too were it not for all the ocean wildlife stopping to point and laugh at me.

        It’s taken years of therapy to fully heal those psychological scars.

        “The Little Mermaid” and “Finding Nemo” had me hiding under a car trembling with fear, eyes darting all over the place like a chihuahua on crack….

  • Sol

    This was such an amazing experience! Loved learning the techniques with you!

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