So… coming Tuesday I’m starting a freediving course!
I won’t lie. I am a little nervous. I have my PADI Open Water license and I am usually quite comfortable in the water, but diving down at least 10 meters on one breath – which is required for the SSI level 1 certification – will probably have its own challenges and obstacles to overcome. Not only the breath hold itself, but also pressure reducing my lung volume and equalization will be things to deal with simultaneously, mostly being head down.
Okay then, so what motivated me to sign up for this stuff? I guess there a couple of factors that did so. First of all, and I guess this is a genuine prerequisite, I love to be in the water. Secondly, I want to improve my overall snorkeling skills, mainly because to me scuba diving feels like a restricted way of being in the water and requires a shitload of gear. And last but not least: the act of breath holding has fascinated me as long as I can remember.
I have a decent breath hold time (3:10) for someone who hasn’t trained breath holds. Will that help me? I don’t know. We’ll see. I have no experience freediving. None whatsoever. Sometimes I have troubles equalizing quickly, especially descending the first 5 meters. And I truly have no idea whether I might have the least amount of talent for it. However, for some reason I feel I have to document this new, kind of exciting thing I’m trying out here. Hopefully it inspires or at least entertains some of you out there. Or, depending on my experiences, restrain you from ever trying freediving and/or reading this blog or anything about the subject ever again.
But let’s not get caught up in any hypothetical doom and gloom, because my teacher is a world class freediver. Her name is Nanja van den Broek and she is the world record holder in the variable weight discipline for women! So the guidance shouldn’t be the problem here. It does imply I’m embarking on this adventure in the Netherlands, where the water outside is too cold for these kind of adventures most of the year. In October this problem gets solved with swimming pool sessions and a deep diving day in Dive4Life, a 20 meter deep diving pool just over the border in Germany. Not as cool as diving down some open tropic waters, but cool anyway!
So… if you want to follow me on this journey, just press the follow button in the right column. More to come after my first day!