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When Zero to Hero is OK

I've done what I've said I won't do. What I don't ever do.


For the first time ever I've taught a Zero to Hero cave class. Someone non-overhead trained all the way through Full Cave.


When people even ask I send them a link to THIS blog post.


Then I tell them after they've read it we can talk about it. The reactions come in two flavors:

1 - The conversation continues about working through Intro

2 - I never hear from them again because, presumably, some other instructor somewhere else says "Yes."


Yet here I am having just sent a brand new CCR Cave Diver into the world.


The CCR is part of it, for sure.


There is such a thing as CCR Intro Cave but... c'mon. The whole point of a CCR is to dive deep and/or long. Intro cave dives are neither of those things. So what the hell is the point of all that extra equipment/failure points/risk/etc using a device made specifically for extreme environments when the point of the certification is to keep people new to the environment away from extreme environments?


Without being philosophically on board with the idea of CCR Intro I'd say the intersection of the tool and the sport belong in the realm of Full Cave.


Then there were the qualifications of the diver:

- Hundreds and hundreds of CCR hours at the hypoxic trimix level

- A literal rocket scientist... so pretty comfortable with math, systems theory, and failure analysis/response

- A national team sky diver... so pretty comfortable with planned and coordinated efforts, carefully orchestrated teamwork, timing, and the vital importance of SOPs


And there was the timing:

We had more than two weeks together


The confluence of those seemingly perfect factors are why I agreed to teach my very first Zero to Hero class in the first place. I worried, in the days leading up to the student's arrival, that the aphorism about things that are too good to be true was about to bite me in the ass.


But some things that are too good to be true actually are. They seem to show up with somewhat suspicious frequency in my life and this was just such a case.


The class was amazing and went swimmingly (pun obviously intended).


And now I have to deal with the very same factor I so frequently warn people about when I ramble about Normalization of Deviance:

I have, due to some factor, strayed from my own standard. Now, having proven to myself that my personal standards are flexible, the danger is I start straying from all my standards.


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