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Overweight instructors

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by gotnogills, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. leapfrog

    leapfrog Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: 40Žº 34'N -3Žº 55'W
    851
    0
    0
    You should do. Why not require it?
    As far as alcohol is concerned, it's a pretty wide concept. One thing is having some beers in the evening or a glass (or even two?) of wine at dinner and another thing is an instructor getting smashed every night. There's enough literature on dehydration, physiological effects of alcohol related to gas narcosis and decompression sickness and so on, to know that alcohol and diving don't go together.

    Smoking is just stupid. Apart from the obvious incompatibility of smoking and diving (which BTW is mentioned in the OWD course), all Divemasters and Instructors know the risks involved by being a diver and a smoker (Recreational Encyclopedia of Diving, etc). predisposing them to lung over expansion injuries, heart attacks and reducing the capacity of carrying oxygen in the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

    Instructors are supposed to be role models. It shocks me to see instructors who smoke. The agencies should crack down it and not certify dive professionals who smoke. I know they won't but it would be coherent if they did.
     
  2. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    0
    54
    0
    This is what I would trigger on.

    In my opinion diving courses are all about
    1) safety
    2) comfort (or comfort levels)
    3) problem solving

    An instructor should be able to make diving at whatever level they're teaching look dead easy. If the instructor is struggling with something, be it a demo, an endurance or a comfort issue then the should do some serious reflection on that and clean it up. You simply can't demonstrate safety, comfort or problem solving if your own skills are so marginal that your newbie students are worried about you.... clearly this falls far short of any level of acceptable "roll modelling" that students should expect.

    None of us are perfect and I know I've had to laugh at a few of my own blunders in the time I've been involved in training so I'd give her the benefit of the doubt on losing the mask. To me that just looks like a blunder.

    But being visibly uncomfortable in front of the students and being unable to perform demos and make it look easy..... that's bad mojo if you ask me. It will undermine your student's confidence in you, as it has in this case, and ultimately it will undermine your student's confidence in themselves!

    Whether this is caused by obesity, smoking, drinking, lousy fitness or any other life-style choice is irrelevant. It's the result that matters.

    R..
    P.S. I haven't read all of the responses. My apologies if I'm repeating what has already been said.
     
  3. leapfrog

    leapfrog Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: 40Žº 34'N -3Žº 55'W
    851
    0
    0
    Oh yes, I managed to get 300 yards off a slipway without having turned on my tank valve this summer. One hell of a SAC rate!:D Sure looked good to the student doing a Rescue course.:doh2:
     
  4. cavew0man

    cavew0man Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    296
    2
    0
    Completely apart from whether or not the skills were adequate, you can't always judge physical fitness from appearance.

    A good friend of mine has struggled with her weight since she was a child. Her brothers and sisters are slim, but she always fell into the "obese" category.

    Now, at age 40, she is currently on a plane to Australia to do the Ironman. She has done triathlon for years, she cycles hundreds of kilometers a week, works out like a fiend, and would kick my a$$ on any fitness test you could throw at her.

    And she still carries around about 100 pounds of extra weight that will not leave. If you saw her in the street, you'd immediately think "fat girl".

    So yes, most of the time, weight correlates to fitness level. But not always. The true test is whether or not the person can successfully do the job they are there to do. I won't judge whether or not that is true in this particular case. I am just saying - read the book, don't just look at the cover. It's pretty shallow to just write off an entire group of people's abilities based on a physical attribute.
     
  5. tacomascubacenter

    tacomascubacenter Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tacoma Washington
    6
    0
    0
    I know I am late to post here. In my opinion a dive instructor NEEDS to be in decent shape. Unless you have a disability you should be able to put your own fins on. If you are out of breath demonstrating skills, that is a problem.:no: When I became a Instructor there was some pretty hard swim and skill tests. If this is a new instructor maybe someone let them slide on some skills. :angrymob: I hope that is not the case!
     
  6. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Acton, Ontario
    23,370
    4,415
    113
    I agree with you but I think the part that I bolded above leaves it too subjective. They NEED to be able to fulfill and demonstrate all necessary skills while maintaining the control and ability to perform safe rescue of any student(s) involved should the need arise.

    The part about the skills is pretty back and white in my opinion. You are either capable or not. When it comes to instructing, if there is ever a question of "you mainly got it...", then you err on the side of caution and do not certify them (the instructor I mean).

    The part about rescue plays into both skills and physical condition....and leaves some gray area. I do not know really how to word it to eliminate the gray area but I am sure it is already worded properly somewhere.

    I would expect that if this person was incapable of putting their own fins on and demonstrating the skills without getting terribly winded....they probably "basically covered the skills" during their certification and they were passed anyways. This is of course just my opinion of what may have happened.
     
  7. seaducer

    seaducer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New jersey
    1,442
    81
    48
    How about having a physical fitness proficiency exam during an IDC and regularly therafter to maintain your instructor status?

    We don't need to turn out Special Forces type physiques here, but just to make sure the person in question is capable of a quick burst of extreme effort and then a longer sustained hard effort that is reasonable considering your students are in a controlled environment until checkouts, and even then the conditions are pretty tame. Something like a timed 25 meter swim followed immediately by a 200 meter tired diver tow.

    I think most "obese" instructors should be able to pass, and if they are great at teaching scuba what more can you ask for? It sounds like the instructor the OP refrences needs to hit the gym before something stinky hits something spinning.

    Personally I really don't care if people are obese so long as it does not interfere with my life. If they are competent at what they do good for them. I have the same standards for everything, do what you do and do it well no matter who you are. My $.02, if it is even worth that much...
     
  8. kek19

    kek19 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Michigan, US
    12
    0
    0
    I agree if it bothers you, get a new instructor. On another note, how much weight did she have to put on? Ok, sorry, that was mean.
     
  9. bigtim6656

    bigtim6656 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: KEY LARGO florida diving capital of the world
    175
    0
    0
    I am a big guy 440. I can tell you this i can put my own fins on. I could find my own mask underwater. Seems to me if she was that unfit she should not be a instructer. I plan to get my ow cert. in march for a fat guy i am active i hike hunt fish. I have been lifting weight latly to build up for for diving.
    But just being over weight does not mean you casn not put your fins on or bend over. I can do alot that most people 250 or 300 pounds could not do. But thats because i am active. No i can not run 5 miles. Or run a marathon. But i can put my own fins on. Got to say knowing she got through all the cert. to be a instructer makes me feel better about doing my ow.
    Question just how big was she.
     
  10. bigtim6656

    bigtim6656 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: KEY LARGO florida diving capital of the world
    175
    0
    0
    Thanks you i am 440 6'4 and most people would not think i could walk a block. But i have done 5 mile hikes up mountains from 2000 feet to 5500 feet. And where talking hikes any steeper and i would have need climbing gear. There is a mountain in Nc called max patch. It is 3500 higher then the parking lot. Me and my dad did it on thanksgiving a few years ago. We walked the back side because the view was better.
    4.8 miles from where we went in to the top down to the parking lot. I got to the top and we were talking with some people. A guy about 220 pounds said how long have you been up here we did not see you coming up. I said we came up the other side. He just about crapped him self.But i got to say i though i was going to kill over a few times on that hike. :D
     

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