Lance's Journal: Adaptive Scuba Diving, Sept. 23

Joe Tyler has been a scuba diver since 1971 and after sharing his love of scuba with hundreds of able-bodied people over years he's now diving into a whole new aspect of teaching the sport. It's called Adaptive Scuba Diving and it's designed to give physically challenged divers the chance to experience the underwater world.

Paul Rauner uses a wheelchair and has limited mobility in his legs, but that doesn't keep him from enjoying scuba, "I'm active, I'm not a pity poor man, I'm like, 'Come on, let's get out there let's go do something.' This is something you or anyone else can do, I don't care who you are."

And seeing someone like Paul enjoy the sport he loves gives Joe great satisfaction, "To me it just gives me a whole other perspective to teaching scuba. It's affects you, sometimes you come out of there with tears in your eyes you know that, 'Hey, I can really help this person do something that a couple of weeks ago they said no way I can't do this. You can do this and it's very, very possible.'"

And Paul is a good example that anything is possible, "I just went out and tried it and I was going up and down and you know it was a good time, I was pretty addicted right away so I'm like, 'Let's go!'"

So far, Joe has certified 4 new adaptive divers, "This summer we've had two paraplegics. I've had one with cerebral palsy and I had one that's legally blind so I think it's been very successful. This is not a course that I want hundreds of people in. I want to deal with each person individually and their time and work with them, whatever it takes."

If you would like to try adaptive scuba diving it will cost you absolutely nothing this weekend. Joe and his instructors will be at the downtown YMCA pool this Sunday from 5pm until 8pm. If you would like to call Joe at Husker Divers the phone number is 402-420-6338. The address of the shop is 5600 South 48th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.

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