Have you ever tried to hold you breath for as long as you can? I guess most of us have.
Be it in those seemingly endless road tunnels as a kid, or ducking your head underwater until you practically turned blue, as to make sure you outdid a childhood friend (surely I wasn't the only one?)
Yet I recently caught up with a good friend of mine, Fabrice, who aims to introduce a whole new aspect to breath holding - through the fantastic sport of free diving. A sport designed to challenge oneself from both a mental and physical standpoint.
This is what he had to say.
To an extent, I guess free diving could be seen as a journey - a journey between just two breaths. The last one before diving into the water, and the first one, coming back to the surface. A journey that is arguably so necessary, in an age where we seem to be constantly rushing, under pressure. Our minds - on constant overdrive, thinking at a million miles an hour.
We live in a world were people cant seem to shut the fuck up. Free diving gives you that chance to escape to another place - to turn inward. One moment you're at the surface, performing your breath-up (to relax body and mind) and the next its just you - your breath, heart beat and the silence of the ocean. Its as if one puts blinkers on, and forgets about the ‘outside’ world. It definitely is a form of active meditation. Being able to free dive lets you, just for a moment, relax your mind. Holding your breath underwater means giving yourself the chance to experience weightlessness. It means being underwater, floating, with your body completely relaxed, letting go of all your tensions. You let yourself go completely. It's an extraordinary feeling. You truly are alone with yourself down there.
I used to work in the maritime industry yet I never felt engaged in it. On the surface, all seemed plain sailing. The money was good, and I was constantly busy. Yet, deep down - it just wasn't making sense. My idea of success certainly wasn't tallying up with the norm. I remember feeling extremely lost. I had no idea what to do. Yet I found myself going to therapy sessions, where I was encourage to explore the mind, and quickly noted how one’s body reacts to thought and stress. This avenue of self exploration seemed to have dragged me back into the ocean, as I used free diving to connect with that inner self.
I started to note the incredible benefits of free diving, and the positive impact that it has had on my life. With that, I felt this strong urge to share this with others, which is ultimately why I am in the process of creating this school. I want to show people that freediving isn't about depth. People freedive for many reasons and will, in time, find their reason. I truly feel that it is the perfect way to observe how ones body reacts to stress or thought, and ultimately how to be mindful - and manage the various challenges that life throws at us.
All in all, I had an absolute blast exploring this incredible sport, and inturn, feel that we managed to capture some fantastic moments. Moments which make me want to go and free dive - pretty much all the time, in order to go on this underwater journey. A journey that I feel is incredible necessary amidst the mess, noise and striving that we are constantly surrounded by.
So what are you waiting for?
Get in touch with Fabrice : firstname.lastname@example.org