Finalist of Australian Depth National Freediving Championship 2016 Trista Fontana

1. Do you remember how and when did you find out about freediving? What made you start freediving? What were your 1st steps in this sport?

94B0D4FDCFA443858E3F58A386CF5F76I was traveling through Egypt along the Red Sea doing a lot of SCUBA diving and some other travelers I had met had gone up to Dahab and dived this little spot called the Blue Hole, I had seen the photos and it looked amazing so decided to make my way there to go SCUBA dive it. Around the same time, one of my best mates from Australia, who was also, my SCUBA buddy had just learned to freedive and had been sending me a lot of emails trying to persuade me to do a course as he needed a buddy. Originally I had very little interest in it, I could barely reach the bottom of a 4m pool and just from playing in the pool with friends I knew I had a terrible breath hold

After having enough of being called a “tankerwanker” and “bubbleblower”  I jumped onto google to see if this tiny town called Dahab had any instructors that could teach me anything about this obscure sport called freediving. Now my scuba gear sits collecting dust and out of service

2.    What is your favorite discipline in freediving and which one you don’t like? And could you explain why?

I think it depends on which day you ask me, My CNF technique is terrible but I do enjoy the challenge when I do it and I find it fun. It is something I would really like to work more on this year when I get back to the water.

Also FIM I love the feeling of the water on my feet as I’m pulling through the water and the glide and you propel through the water especially coming back upA768F3CCE5DD4F49991E784D192CC806

3.    Tell please few words about your freediving training approach: How many times a week do you train? And do you have a fixed schedule or you just wake up in the morning, look into a mirror and depending on your mood, body condition or weather decide what to do today?

When I am training I do now try to follow a 3:1 dive days to rest day rotation with a longer 2-3 break every so often. There are training days where I wake up and feel I’m not in it physically or mentally. In the past, I have tried to push past these thinking that they were just barriers and I was just getting in my own head. So I would still go out and dive, I would not achieve anything I wanted and this just lead me to become frustrated and have a negative session and this would carry on to the following days. Now experience has shown me that I need to listen to my body and take a break and reset the mind.

But in regards to each training session I now pick one task I wasn’t to work on each session and not make it about a depth achievement. Be it my mouth fill, streamlining, relaxation. You get these things right then the depth happens naturally

4.    And how often do you try something new in your freediving training?         

B8BA0BA6806E4134909835A5B7566CE0As often as possible, I still consider myself a beginner in the scheme of things and I am always watching others see what works for them, picking people’s brains. Freediving is still a relatively new sport and each person has many different variations on what works for them. I think also part of being a great instructor is knowing and understanding the many different methods available and being able to adapt them to your students needs rather than just teaching what works for you. For this reason, even though I am an instructor I still seek out the guidance of others and looking to expand my own skill set

5.    The next question – what makes you day after day to go to train in a pool/sea? What motivates you to train hard? How do you fight humans’ laziness?

My love for freediving is my motivation. I don’t train in the pool and that is simply because I don’t like it and I don’t find it fun. I freedive because I love the feeling when I’m in the ocean, not because I want to be the best. I have found this mindset has been important in my progress. There has been a time where I did make it about progress and the numbers and I started to come undone. I stopped enjoying the training, I stopped making progress. So when you enjoy something in that manner it is easy to get out of bed every day

6.    Do you believe that some food products could influence the ability to equalize? Like gluten or lactose, for example, create more mucus which is not good for equalizing? Do you personally follow any diet?E043C21749F7487FBD7BF939C4F0DF92

I haven’t noticed a problem too much with my equalisation…yet. I do however notice that gluten and/or lactose do create extra mucus. I noticed this quite by accident when I inadvertently removed it from my diet whilst staying in Bali at their diet is very low in gluten and lactose and then was craving a pizza covered in cheese one night. It wasn’t something I was aware of prior to excluding it. So now I am more conscious of what I’m eating in the days leading up to dives

7.    Let’s talk about money 🙂 Do you have any support from sports community of your country or may be some trade brand?

I think this is the dream of all competitive freedivers, currently like most divers I am completely self-funded. Last year I was told by my university that I would be ineligible to apply for a sports grant to compete at nationals because freediving was not considered a sport by the university, but apparently, Dragon Boat racing was

8.    What about your targets in freediving? What would you like to achieve and how deep would you like to get?

It’s funny people always ask how deep do you want to go and how deep can you go. Whenever someone asks me about my depths I always try to avoid the question, especially on social media or if its someone I don’t know. Freediving has become a personal journey for me and I feel that the depths in no way reflect my path. Sure I share the depths with my friends and those I’m diving with, they are there on that journey with me. The depth isn’t about why I dive, it’s the enjoyment and the journey so I will keep diving as long as I keep enjoying it, who knows at what depth that enjoyment will stop.

9.    What do you do except freediving? Do you have any hobbies?AD014A9F58FC4F3697AE389CC3ABD13B

Surfing has become my little side addiction, which is perfect for where I live in Perth, Australia. Means I can still get into the ocean fix and keep my fitness and strength up at the same time. Also, I’m not so great at it so my breath holds also get a run

10.  What would you advise to people, who just discovered this sport?

Enjoy the moments not the numbers. I think also finding the right instructor or dive buddy for how you like to train is also important. Everybody trains and dives differently and what works for one person will not for the next. Find what works for you

 

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