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To Teach or to Educate


Breatt Scaglione || FII Freediving Courses with Freediving Instructors International || Learn to Freedive! www.freedivinginstructors.comJuly 13. 2011

To Teach or to Educate: THAT is the Question!

by Brett Scaglione


Think back to your time in schooling… everyone seems to have that one teacher that stood out from the rest as your favorite.  Throughout the years of being involved at Barry University, I have always been fascinated with what qualities a teacher possesses that made them stand out in their student’s mind as being the “best teacher they ever had.”  Every time I have conversed with students on this subject, the reason almost always seemed to be the same: “I learned the most with them: they were able to get the information across in a way that I was able to understand and I actually enjoyed going to class!”  If this individual is considered a teacher by title, but is able to reach students unlike other teachers have in the past, are they still to be considered a teacher?  What have they done that is so different than that of the other teachers?

Personally, I do not think individuals who are among the pantheon of “The Best Teacher I Ever Had” should be considered teachers, but as educators.  An educator is “a specialist in the theory and practice of teaching/education” (, 2011).  In other words: to be considered an educator, one must be well versed in communication, possess a mastery of all related information in their field, and understand their students well enough to be able to relate the information to them so they can truly assimilate information, not just recite it.  An educator has a multitude of tools that can be called upon at any given time to be able to explain a topic many different ways.  There might be a class where you are trying to explain the theory of hypoxia and it might have to be explained three different ways with different metaphors and scientific based conversations.  An educator is able to take this challenge in stride due to a true mastery of the information involved and an ability to look at every student as an individual.  This allows the educator to unlock the secrets to their student’s full understanding of the knowledge.


As an Instructor for  Freediving Instructors International it is necessary for you not only to become an educator, but a Professional Aquatic Educatior.  This is someone someone who truly cares about the information they teach, possesses a mastery of the information they present,  lives their lives according to the standards by which their student are held, and is an unwavering ambassador for not only the sport and activity of freediving, but also the safe practices that are a part of our passion.  Face it: it is our job to make sure freediving is conducted in a safe and enjoyable manner! Is it possible to ensure our student’s safety/enjoyment if they do not understand all the information?


So, the rest is up to you: are you going to teach or are you going to educate?”

True Flexibility


catJuly 6. 2011

True Flexibility

by Cat Fitzgerald

Did you know:

“We are supposed to peak athletically between the ages of 35-45; not in our teens.”

“True flexibility is cumulative and permanent.”

You should be a little perplexed, maybe even a little peeved, but interested – dubious, yet hopeful. When I picked up Bob Cooley’s The Genius of Flexibility for the very first time and read these two statements, a few things cascaded like Pachinko balls in my head: “Nobody I know thinks they are as flexible, or more so, now, than when they were younger,”  “This isn’t what I witness in everyday life nor experience myself,” and “If this is true, I have to know what [Bob Cooley] knows.”

Not to burst any bubbles out there, but, the memories of our flexible youth, of splits three ways, contorting to fit into luggage bags (if you had an older brother like mine), and back bends around beach balls and telephone poles, are lies. More accurately, they are misconceptions.

We all have photos of those magic tricks proving that we could wrap our ankles behind our necks; it just wasn’t flexibility that allowed us to perform all of those nimble feats. It was hyper mobility of our joints and soft tissues – the very things that allowed us to bend, bounce back from injury, and sometimes bounce back uninjured from that which should have been devastating. The irony is that we feel like we are missing now what we didn’t actually have back then.

The good news is that we CAN have it today. We can have now what we never had, even though it feels so very unattainable. It just takes a bit of work.

Settling on Terminology

Long muscles are not automatically flexible ones, and short muscles aren’t necessarily tight. We tend to confuse Range of Motion (ROM) and Flexibility with our ability to get a task accomplished. Every person to whom I say, “You have inflexible hamstrings,” as they stand before me, straight legged with their palms firmly planted on the ground, gets upset with me, to say the least. Sure they may have long hamstrings, but, when the muscles ability to contract reciprocally is not present, there is a problem.

Flexibility is a muscles ability to lengthen and to shorten. There is a clear distinction between “shorten” and “contract.” We can contract and shorten – Concentric Motion, or contract and lengthen – Eccentric Motion. ROM is just what it seems: the distance and direction a joint can move between the flexed position and the extended position without the benefit of substitution or recruitment of other bones, joints, or muscles, and it is easy to measure. Here’s a quick exercise:

Stand in front of a mirror and lift your straightened arm until it is pointing to the ceiling. Take note of the relationship between your arm and your head. How far apart are they? Which direction is your elbow pointing? Now, look at your shoulder. Has the distance between your neck/ ear and shoulder changed?

Now do it again, but stop as soon as you see your shoulder elevate, making the space between your shoulder and neck or ear smaller. This is a more accurate picture of your actual Range of Motion.  Next time I will give you the keys to increase your ROM and get you started on your path to a healthier, more resilient, more flexible body.


Cat Fitzgerald



DanJune 30. 2011


by Dan Silveira

I have been diving for 19 years, and I am happy to say that for the most part, I've never had severe heartburn on a dive until recently. I was coming up from a dive when suddenly a sharp burning pain occurred in my esophagus. It felt like someone was pouring hot tea down my throat. I continued to dive and the symptoms escalated and got worse. It got to the point that the pain was debilitating, and forced me to stop diving for the day. I quickly realized that I needed to learn about my problem in hopes to find a solution. I don’t ever want to experience heartburn while diving again!


From the info that I dug up, it seemed like there could be multiple contributing factors to heartburn.

1. Foods and drinks that cause you to produce more stomach acid:

Acid Reflux Diet - Good Foods / Bad Foods For Heartburn Sufferers ...

GERD Diet – Good Foods for Heartburn – Bad Foods for Heartburn ...

Foods That Cause Heartburn: Avoid These Foods & Drinks

Top 10 Heartburn Foods - WebMD

2. Immersion causes Increased pressure on stomach and can distort the stomach-esophagus valve so that it leaks more easily.

3. A tight wetsuit or a tight weight belt around your stomach can also increase pressure on your stomach, and might be a small factor.

4. When you are inverted gravity will increase any stomach acid leakage into the esophagus if the stomach-esophagus valve is not well sealed.

5. I think that some people have damaged or defective stomach-esophagus valves or other medical issues that require surgery or special medications or treatment from a doctor (see the links below about treatments).

For prevention, there are few kinds of medicine.  Some help reduce neutralize acid in your stomach.  Others help to decrease the amount of stomach acid your body produces. There are over the counter medicines and more powerful prescription ones you can get if you see a doctor.  There are also surgical options.  Here are some pretty good descriptions of the options:

Heartburn Treatment - Options for Heartburn Treatment

Heartburn Treatments: OTC and Prescription Medications

The approach I am going to try for dive trips is to be more careful about what I eat, and take a Pepcid Complete (over the counter medicine that both neutralizes acid and decreases acid production), 1 every 12 hours.  If I still get heartburn, I'll use some liquid Mylanta medicine to help relieve the symptoms.  It also contains antacids to help neutralizes acid in the stomach, and I think that it coats your esophagus and stomach to reduce irritation from the acid.  I haven't really had a chance to try it out since I haven't done any trips since I got the new info.

As you can see from this link, Terry Maas wrote about heartburn in the physiology chapter of his freedive book.  The info on the link is limited, but the book has much more details about the issue.

You may want to double check facts of these statements or consult with a doctor before using any of the information listed above. The info I have gathered was through the help of my friends Tom Fiene and Paul Young who started experiencing heartburn before I did. They had done much of the research, and when I finally experienced the same heartburn problems, I asked them for the info they had already dug up.

As of now, I have not had any reoccurring issues with heartburn.


Here is what I did:

  1. Watch my diet. – NO GREASY OR SPICY FOODS a few days prior to diving!
  2. Eat less food before diving or no food is possible.
  3. Take two Tums the night before diving when in doubt.
  4. Stay away from foods that cause lots of gas.
  5. Drink Insure Plus for quick energy while diving – 300+ calories in a liquid form that tastes like vanilla!
  6. Take off my weight belt when I am in my kayak or on the boat.
  7. Use a proper fitting freedive wetsuit.


Dan Silveira


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