Failed my Day 1 PADI Pool Training

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Subcooled

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"Everyone else got under the water and I couldn't figure out how. I was hitting the button but wasn't sinking."

You are not the first person to experience that.

"After that my mask filled up."

You are not the first person to experience that.

"I was still struggling just to control my buoyancy."

You are not the first person to experience that.

"I was having issues with my hamstrings. I've never had a hamstring cramp in my life [...]
he said in all his years he's never had anyone cramp in both legs at the same time
"

That is uncommon, but I have had it twice.

"my feet were starting to hurt because my boots and fins"

That should not happen. They're too small.

"It also kept fogging when there was no water in it"

Yeah, that sucks. You will get used to it.

"he told me it was okay and that it took him several tries to get his certification as well."

Nice.

"Anything under water I was just scared at this point. I couldn't get back under and I couldn't get my breathing under control."

Not fun :(

There is however nothing wrong with you. These problems are common. You just happened to experience ALL of them at the same time. I can understand why diving might feel a bit scary now!

"I probably need a proper fitting wet suit"

Skip the suit and fins for now. You need to spend some relaxing time at the shallow end of the pool wearing swimming trunks only. I've done it a lot and it's great.
 

Bierstadt

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Ugh. Some people are naturals and don't need a good instructor to complete their scuba class. For the rest of us, a good instructor is important. I know multiple people who completed their basic scuba class and then don't dive again because they don't feel comfortable underwater. When an instructor is focused on rushing through a checklist of skills how are the students supposed to get comfortable?

I will not rehash all the great takes on the situation that are already posted. I hope the OP finds a good instructor or a private instructor and completes his basic scuba.
 

Quicklynx

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Wow! So many responses I don't even know where to start my response.

I will definitely take everything into consideration that everyone posted.

Two of the hot topics here seems to be 1.The instructor and 2. My wife sharing her regulator with me, so I'll address these first.

While I wouldn't know what makes a good vs bad instructor, I can tell you that this instructor is very experienced, and does have a solid reputation amongst other instructors and divers that know them. I think on a one on one situation, things would be much different with them, and that is what I'm working on trying to figure out with them, and to see if something like that can be accommodated.

I completely understood that in a group setting I couldn't just expect the entire class to wait for me, nor can the instructor inhibit their learning.

The one positive thing is the instructor told me that they were like me when they learned to dive, and were not like the other students that have no issues.

From the experiences shared in this thread, including the journal shared with me, there are many divers, some of you, that had the same fears to overcome that I have, and are successful and safe divers now.

I will get there, but I have to find my path to achieve that. It may take a week, or it could take years, but as long as my lungs hold up, I'll keep trying.

As for my wife and the regulator/compressed air, it's something I would use my best judgement on. I'm not saying I condone this, and it will be discussed and thoroughly thought about, but as crazy as it sounds, my degree is in Respiratory Therapy, which a lot of it requires the use of cylinders, whether heliox, nitrox, O2, air, etc... I at least could administer, safely, to myself, however, it is always frowned upon to use your medical background to conduct/administer/medicate, etc.. on yourself. I will say that I spent many years of flying on O2, so I'm pretty confident I would have no issues with CA at Sea level or above.

Breaking out of that discussion, and reflecting more on the training I just went through, I'm trying to think of ways that might help me out.

I know this may be costly, but if there is anyway to make the breathing underwater get to as close to breathing without a regulator, that would be ideal.

I guess what I'm asking, are there some regulators that just feel like I can breathe better with less resistance? I would say that this would probably solve 90-99% of the fear I experienced.

If I have to spend $2000 on a regulator, then I'll do it if it means I can breathe easier.

Any recommendations would be great.

Going back to respiratory, I did one year as a RT working in Pediatrics and ICU.

I left because I was, very fortunately, selected to receive a Flight Contract for the Marines, and I had to go through and get cleared for all the same medical stuff I just went through for diving. My dream was always to be a fighter pilot and I wasn't going to pass up my chance at that.

While the fear hit me pretty hard under the water, that I never knew I had, my first landing and launch off a carrier felt the same way.

You gain the experience, and then you can land on it at night at 130 knots with 20ft swells. Well...If you call it landing... More like a very controlled crash.

Slow and steady, gain the experience, reduce my fear.

Thanks All!
 

rx7diver

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... I know this may be costly, but if there is anyway to make the breathing underwater get to as close to breathing without a regulator, that would be ideal.

I guess what I'm asking, are there some regulators that just feel like I can breathe better with less resistance? I would say that this would probably solve 90-99% of the fear I experienced.

If I have to spend $2000 on a regulator, then I'll do it if it means I can breathe easier.

Any recommendations would be great. ...

At the swimming pool depths you're training at, I wouldn't concern myself with a better-breathing regulator. Your regulator likely isn't contributing to your issues, IMHO.

rx7diver
 

Murky Waters

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"I think the main issue was my ill preparedness coming into the training, not realizing how fast paced it was..."

Not supposed to be fast-paced. Find a cooler instructor and go 1 on 1. You'll be fine.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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At the swimming pool depths you're training at, I wouldn't concern myself with a better-breathing regulator. Your regulator likely isn't contributing to your issues, IMHO.

rx7diver
You obviously didn't teach at the first shop where I taught. The poorly serviced regulators were a major stress factor.
 

Quicklynx

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From what you wrote, it sounds like there wasn't a divemaster present, just the one instructor?

There were two Dive Masters present, but one of them was working with about 6 to 8 recertification divers. The other one was trying to help me keep up, but he did have to help others too.

One thing he did realize in the moment was that my regulator was on some sort of pre dive setting. I didn't know that was a thing until he moved the notch for me. It did help my breathing.
 

Edward3c

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As for my wife and the regulator/compressed air, it's something I would use my best judgement on. I'm not saying I condone this, and it will be discussed and thoroughly thought about, but as crazy as it sounds, my degree is in Respiratory Therapy, which a lot of it requires the use of cylinders, whether heliox, nitrox, O2, air, etc... I at least could administer, safely, to myself, however, it is always frowned upon to use your medical background to conduct/administer/medicate, etc.. on yourself. I will say that I spent many years of flying on O2, so I'm pretty confident I would have no issues with CA at Sea level or above.
The issue with using someone else’s reg when not trained is the danger of taking a breath from the regulator and surfacing whilst holding your breath (a natural thing to do). Even at 1m the the change in pressure is 0.1bar, enough to burst a lung If you’ve taken a full breath then surface. This slid from the first lesson of our Ocean Diver (entry level) course illustrates the consequences.

1633072830092.gif
 

admikar

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A false equivalence has been generated in these last posts. Although not stated explicitly, the implied message is "Some people who dive without training die, but so do some people who have training; therefore, there is no benefit to certified training."

Of course, the problem is the vagueness of the word "some," which could cover a range from 0.00001% to 99.99999%. Is 0.003% about the same as 99.97%? Of course not, but if you call both numbers "some," they sound about the same.

Now, I haven't got a clue of the actual percentages, but I do recall a thread a few years ago in which it was reported that roughly 50% of the people who die in cave diving accidents are certified to dive in caves, and 50% of those who die are not. To people who do not understand math, it sounded like there is no benefit to cave certification, and several people said so. Of course, the fact is that probably about 98% of the people who go into caves are certified, so the 2% who are not certified are providing 50% of the deaths. That makes the difference significant, although a lot of people still would not understand why.
Maybe I should make it more clear. I do not say there is no value in training. I was just responding to mindset that people die just because I let someone breathe off my regulator in few feet of water. And I am not going to let them do that without me looking over them and explaining few basic rules beforehand.
And that is exactly what that form that PADI divers have to sign is implying.
All that is stated on that form is genuine common sense and absolutely see no reason why I need to sign a piece of paper stating the obvious.
It's a common sense to me not to give my equipment to someone cold from the street for a 30m dive.
That form is a product of litigious society. PADI is covering its behind.
 

Wibble

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If I have to spend $2000 on a regulator, then I'll do it if it means I can breathe easier.
You DON'T need to do that. ALL regulators conform to international standards. The Scuba industry are a bunch of lying gougers forever trying to up-sell.

You may probably find that your second stage flow restriction lever was in the wrong place. You wouldn't have been taught that.

Your main challenge is spending time in the water and chilling out. Literally laying on the bottom of the shallow end of a pool breathing from a regulator and possibly practicing clearing your mask.

The point is to demonstrate to "your captain" that sits on your shoulder that you can breathe underwater and you're not going to drown. Once he's happy, peace and tranquility will reign. Then you can move on to the interesting stuff. As said above, we've all faced these problems -- although to be fair, rarely have we faced all of them on the first dive!

Yay!
 
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