Having spent most of my time as a scuba diver, freediving eluded my curiosity for some time. It was not until I was introduced to it in greater depth and completed a freedive course that I fully grasped the connotation of the word FREE; Independent of heavy gear, unrestrained to all thinking and the freedom to delve into your own subconscious. Meditation in its’ purest form. I had always preached scuba diving to be just that – unobtrusive and fantastically peaceful with only air bubbles tickling your face as they float up like fine dust particles.
I began my freediving journey by occasionally guiding snorkelers out on day trips in Thailand. Alternatively to my typical work as a dive guide or instructor, I would be assigned to snorkel guide the routine sites, frequently diving down and exploring my playground minus the tank. Years had passed before I came to realize, my breathe up technique was entirely misguided and most importantly that freediving down alone was a definite faux pas in the apnea world. I have picked up a lot more information since then.
Freediving is easily becoming a more recognized sport. I remember on a few occasions telling people I did Freediving and their first thought was – I was hurdling myself off a springboard whilst simultaneously doing somersaults and performing acrobatics in the air before falling into the pool. As tempting as it was, I did not run with that. Instead I told them that for fun, I like to hold my breath. Because I do. It was an intimidating experience to start with as you are confronting the limits of your own mind and body. You become aware of the fact that you are capable of so much more than you initially thought. And then eventually you aspire to dive deeper, to stay down for longer and ultimately compete in Freediving competitions.