I’m in another beef, and not the kind I like (fillet- medium rare and bacon wrapped)! So, for anyone following the life-story of Dr. Strand, I’ve been slowly transitioning (no, not that way) from full time doctoring to full time SCUBA. I’m not even sure what that actually looks like, as I’m sure that I will always have one foot in medicine, but I’m definitely hoping to live a life where it controls the bulk of my life. It’s a slow process, for sure, but one I’d like to fully make within the next 13 or so months. When I started this adventure all I really wanted was to work for the shop I “grew up in”. I wanted to climb up the instructional ladder so I could take over those things that my mentor no longer had the time, patience, or willingness to deal with anymore. I wanted to be his number two guy, left to run things while he got to sit back and enjoy pseudo retirement. But that, obviously, wasn’t meant to be. Skip forward My drive and ambition were apparently too much for, well, most people. It’s always been like that, I guess. Regardless of my willingness to serve as the unpaid lackey in exchange for experience and training, it soon became clear that I was no longer welcome at the shop I so dearly loved. So I had to branch out on my own. While starting my own shop has been scary, I’m not letting fear drive my decisions. Believe me, it would be easy to let that happen: the SCUBA industry is gear heavy and gear costs beaucoup cha-ching, and trust me when I say that just because you start your own thing does NOT mean you start shitting money. Unfortunately. But, even with all that, it’s not MY fear that I’m worried about. It’s everyone else’s! candy-ass children and cowards It’s the rest of those candy-ass children and cowards out there who are letting fear drive their actions and pick their words. The place I used to be so willing to sacrifice all of my time for is now complaining to the higher ups that I’m stealing their business, that it’s not fair that I’m so close, and probably that I’m way too good at this to just be a normal human. That last one is just a stab in the dark, but I’m sure it’s true! The point here is this: there is MORE than enough room out there for all of us. I charge a fair price for my courses considering I teach only private lessons, and not large, faceless groups. I teach to the letter of the standards, and even add skills that I feel are missing from time to time, making my courses a little bit longer and more difficult. So why is it that students from the old shop are seeking me out? Again, not cheaper, and not easier. Me at 135′ Worry about your own shit They’re afraid. They’ve gotten by for so long, just lazily doing whatever felt good, and not what’s right. It scares them that I’m doing what’s right because it’s hard and they just aren’t used to hard. Trust me: I am NOT your competition. We may be playing the same game, but we’re nowhere close to being in the same league! I told you before and I’ll say it again, I want to do the hard stuff. Give me those specialty courses. Let me take people deeper than they thought possible and show them that the only limits in their life are self imposed! A word to the wise: people can smell fear. It wreaks of rotting dreams and corroded potential and it’s all over you, and I can smell it from here!