It’s hard to underestimate the role of a safety buddy in any freediving discipline.
At first glance safety skill for STA seems to be very easy – you need to carefully watch your buddy and be ready to assist if necessary.
However, safety for static apnea is a unique experience in freediving: only in static safety buddy can talk to the freediver during the breath-hold – give comments, support, and motivate. In this case, the safety buddy in static apnea acts as the coach.
So don’t ignore the requirement to train with a safety buddy – it’s not just about following the RULE No.1 in freediving, which you learned on your Freediving course – never freedive alone, but it is also very convenient to have someone who can tell you “Hold it. Don’t give up. 5 seconds left!”
Except that your safety buddy should be a freediver, who knows how to do rescue in case of LMC or blackout, it would also be good to know how to do CPR. Of course, nobody wants to use this skill, but you never know what can happen.
Moreover, it’s always a good idea to refresh rescue skills from time to time – maybe once a week or once a month – in this case, you can be sure that you remember all steps and can do them even if you are stressed out.
And when I say that you need to watch your buddy, I mean to observe, paying all your attention to the freediver who holds his breath. When your freediver does relaxation breathing, you can relax, but as soon as he holds the breath – all your attention goes on freediver till he comes up and finish recovery breathing. You need to make sure your freediver is fully recovered. You must control the situation even after your freediver showed you the OK sign and a little bit after that. Don’t look around or check your phone when you do safety, as you can skip the moment when freediver blacks out.
I agree that sometimes it is not the most exciting job, especially if your freediver does long tables or a set of long breath holds. But this is a part of the game, and as we say, “if you like to sled, must like to push your sled up the hill.”
The last aspect of safety – your position towards freediver.
What do we do in Crystal Freediving for our pool training sessions – if someone does the maximum attempt or the near-maximum – 70-80%, or trying to set up the personal best, safety buddy stays in the pool next to the freediver. In this case, there are many more chances for some emergency, and the safety buddy’s quick reaction matters.
If we are training easy breath-holds – 50-60% of the maximum, it is acceptable for the safety buddy to stay out of the water on the side of the pool. Still, hand-distance to freediver is a “must”. Although during easy static apnea training, the emergency case is hard to happen, it doesn’t mean you can sit on a sunbed and drink coffee while your freediver is holding the breath. You never know how it goes, so you should be close to your buddy.
In my opinion, freediver’s results depend a lot on safety buddy. If you can trust your buddy, if you are sure that he is attentive enough and will not confuse anything, and will proceed as you agreed, then you can relax much better. And, as you know, relaxation is the primary key to success in freediving.
First of all, lung overexpansion (LO) injury is very rarely in Freediving. So, don’t be scared. But since it can be a serious trauma better to have a solid understanding of what it is and how to avoid it.
First, let’s have a talk about the structure of the lungs.
Our lungs are sponge-like air-filled organs that transfer air molecules to and from blood cells. The trachea (windpipe) conducts inhaled air into the lungs through bronchi, which then dived into smaller branches (bronchioles), finally becoming microscopic.
The bronchioles eventually end in clusters of very small air sacs called alveoli. In the alveoli, O2 from the air is absorbed into the blood and CO2 (a waste product of metabolism) moves from the blood to the alveoli (and eventually exhaled). This process in the alveoli calls gas exchange.
Lungs are major airspace in our body. We have actually two lungs – a right and left lungs. They are situated within the thoracic cavity of the chest. The right lung is bigger than the left, which shares space in the chest with the heart.
Lungs are delicate tissues, and can easily be ruptured. If the air flow inside our lungs becomes restricted as you ascend, the expanding air can rapture the delicate alveoli inside the lungs. This can happen without any warning sensations (since the lungs do not sense pain). Chest congestion, scar tissue, lung disease, and damage from smoking can also create air flow restriction and contribute to LO.
When you do a scuba course, your instructor going to repeat many times that the main rule of Scuba Diving – never to hold your breath. Why?
When you do scuba diving you breathe compressed air from scuba tanks and your lungs have the same volume at any given depth. This is why if you are even 10 meters deep and make a rapid ascent with breath hold (due to a panic let’s say) your lungs will expand twice from the normal size! Lung tissue can stretch out a little bit, but not twice from its normal size. Which is easy can bring a scuba diver to the risk of lungs barotrauma.
Lungs barotrauma (LB) can be in a few basic forms
Arterial gas embolism – gas from the lungs escapes into the bloodstream (which can form bubbles and block blood circulation)
Pneumothorax – air enters the space between the lungs, expands and cause lungs to collapse
Mediastinal emphysema – air enters the space between the chest and the lungs, expands and put the pressure on the lung, heart, or blood vessels.
Subcutaneous emphysema – air escapes from the lungs and travels underneath of the skin (most often around the neck), which can result in voice changing, difficulties swallowing
Common symptoms of LB are
Paralyze, especially on one side of the body
Dizziness and confusion
Coughing up blood
Loss of vision
Change in voice
Heavy chest pain and difficulties in breathing
Is lung overexpansion can be a problem for Freedivers? Normally it is not. When you freedive, lungs compressed on your way down and re-expand on your way up to the original volume. So, there is no overexpansion.
But let’s have a look at two situations which can have a potential risk of lungs overexpansion injury
BREATHING FROM SCUBA TANK UNDERWATER. Imagine, a Freediver makes a dive to 10 meters. His lungs compressed at this depth almost twice. When he ascends, lungs come back to their normal shape. But what happened if Freediver takes a breath from scuba tank underwater and then ascent? After inhale from scuba tank lungs will expand to its normal size (sea level), but then, on the way up the lungs will expand twice. What about exhaling on the way up? It will defiantly reduce the risk, but not illuminate it (you also have to keep the ascend speed as slow as you can). But to remove the risk – DON’T TAKE AIR FROM SCUBA DIVER UNDERWATER!
By doing packing Freediver will over expand the lungs on the surface (lungs volume is going to be higher than Total Lungs Capacity). Then Freediver dive to the planned depth. During the dive he is going to have MDR (blood shift in particular) which moves a certain amount of blood into the lungs (causing blood vessels around alveoli to expand in size), preventing from crushing. On the way up air starts to expand, and blood vessels still bigger in size. This theoretically can increase the risk of lung overexpansion. The risk is not huge, but do exist. To minimize it, Freedivers who are packing exhale before they reach the surface (which also decrease the risk of BO). So, before you start practicing packing, please ask your self – DO YOU REALLY NEED TO DO IT? Please, keep in mind that packing is a highly advanced technique and should be practiced only by experienced athletes. Are you high experienced Freediver?
Treating lung overexpansion injury.
Symptoms of LO occur immediately and can include difficulty breathing, chest pain, crackling under the skin, unconsciousness or death. First aid must begin immediately while transportation to a medical facility is arranged. 100% O2 should be provided as soon as possible and CPR started if necessary. Ask yourself, do you have CPR skills?
The victim will need treatment in a hyperbaric (pressurized) chamber as soon as possible to shrink the air bubbles, and then slowly decompressed to allow the air to pass out of the body before it expands and interferes with respiration and circulation.
Suspected tension pneumothorax is treated with needle decompression followed by tube thoracostomy (at the hospital of course). If a smaller pneumothorax is present and there is no sign of hemodynamic or respiratory instability, the pneumothorax may resolve when high-flow 100% O2 is given for 24-48 hrs. If this treatment is ineffective or if a large pneumothorax is present, tube thoracostomy is done.
Computed tomography of the chest is recommending in any case of suspected pulmonary barotrauma in order predicting future fitness to dive
What do you think about it? Stop reading for a second and let me know your opinion in the comments section at the end of this article!
Ok, let’s start with it – any activity is potentially dangerous. And I am not even talking about such activities as a base jumping or rock climbing. Walking on the busy street can be extremely dangerous, right?
However, if you follow the rules of this particular activity – risks can be dramatically minimized (don’t walk on a highway for example). And Freediving is not an exception. Follow simple safety rules and Freediving would be the safest water based activity!
But I would lie to you by saying that there are no risks in Freediving. Are they big? Let’s have a look.
It is going to be two parts about most common problems in Freediving.
First one about – LMC/BO/SWB
And second is going to be about lung squeeze, DCS/lung overexpansion/gas narcosis
Before we start – it is very unlikely that you are going to experience it on your Freediving course (especially on the first level – chances close to zero). But with the experience, you are going to be not that much distracted with a high level of CO2 (you still have contractions, but you are going to be more ok with them) and able to hold your breath longer and longer. And longer your breath hold is, less O2 it is going to be at the end of it. And less O2 you have more likely problems can happen.
Let’s say a Freediver decide to do his PB (personal best attempt). He is relaxed and enjoys his breath hold. At some point, contractions (involuntary movement of respiration muscles) will start. But he is still relaxed. He has them before and he is not freaked out, everything is under control. Contractions become harder and harder, but he is still holding his breath. At some moment, contractions became unbearable and Freediver comes up. But because the level of O2 reached the critical level, there is a chance of LMC (loss of motor control). What happens with this Freediver if he has an LMC?
He is still conscious; the heart is working, blood still circulating through the body. But the partial pressure of O2 is too low for normal functioning. He is not fainting, but close to it. Signs can be small (blue lips, light uncontrolled eyes or head movement), or big (body shaking and losing coordination). What happens when a freediver lose coordination while he is in the pool? Big problem…
And this is why your buddy is very important! Safety buddy is going to grab the Freediver, provide support, remove a mask from the face (or nose clip) and encourage him to breathe!
HOW TO AVOID LMC?
No hyperventilation before any breath hold
Don’t push too much (be moderate with your progress and don’t do big jumps in it)
Secure support (float, pool’s edge, your buddy arm) after surfacing
Proper recover breathing after stop holding.
Don’t do PB’s if you are dehydrated, too tired, you haven’t slept well, it is your second training per day etc
AND NEVER FREEDIVE ALONE!
HOW TO DEAL WITH LMC?
Support your buddy, making sure airways about the surface
Remove mask/nose clip
Encourage to do recovery breathing
Be ready to deal with BO
If you have an LMC, take it as a lesson, stop training for at least a day, analyze why it happened and don’t repeat the same mistake ;-)
What is BO? In Freediving we call it a situation when Freediver lost his conscious due to hypoxia (insufficient supply of O2) during the long breath hold. There is a difference between hypoxia and anoxia – complete deprivation of O2 supply. Why it is important to understand this difference?
Anoxia is extremely dangerous because some of our tissues could not survive without O2 supply even a couple of minutes (brain as an example). During hypoxia there is still available O2, but not enough for normal body function. And the protective mechanism launched – Freediver experience blackout.
HOW TO AVOID BO?
Don’t do hyperventilation
Do recovery breathing after any breath hold
Avoid pushing too much your limits (especially if you are a beginner)
Don’t depend on the watch, if you feel that you need to stop – stop!
Have enough time to recover between Freediving sessions
Don’t train when you dehydrated
AND NEVER FREEDIVE ALONE!
HOW TO DEAL WITH BO?
Learn rescue skills under professional supervision
Practice these skills
If your buddy has a BO – don’t panic, you can easily recover him
If you have a BO – stop your training for today
If there is a chance that you inhale water – look for a medical checkup
As you know, BO happens when there is not enough O2 for normal buddy’s function (when a partial pressure of O2 below a certain level).
When we are diving, pressure changes very fast, compared to the surface. When we are only 10 meters deep, pressure increase twice (2 atm), 20 meters – three-time (3 atm) and so on. Same happens with the pressure of any gases in your body, include O2.
Deeper you go higher partial pressure of O2 you have.
But now you turned 😉 And while you are ascending, you are still burning down O2, but now also pressure decreasing. And on the last 10 meters, it is going down twice. And this is where the majority of SWB happens (some of them even on the surface).
It is almost the same recommendations which I wrote about how to avoid BO! let’s repeat
Don’t do hyperventilation
Do recovery breathing after any breath hold
Avoid pushing too much your limits (especially if you are a beginner), in case of SWB – don’t progress with depth too fast
Don’t depend on the watch/depth, if you feel that you need to turn – turn!
Have enough time to recover between Freedives (apply the rule, surface interval 3-4 longer then dive time or more conservative time)
Limit the number of deep dives per session
Don’t train when you dehydrated
AND AGAIN – NEVER FREEDIVE ALONE!
Rescue skills in open water
What to do if your buddy has SWB
Reach the diver
Bring to the surface
Remove the weight belt if necessary
Blow-tap-talk for 10 seconds
2 rescue breath and ask for help
Start moving the diver to the boat/shore, providing 1 rescue breath every 5 seconds
We would like to introduce our today’s guest Amber Bourke, ex-World Champion, and multi-time Australian National record holder!
Amber, thank you for finding time to reply some of our questions.
1. Amber, I know that you were a professional synchronized swimmer and even represent Australia at FINA World Championship in 2007. How you ended up in Freediving?
I actually injured my hip which kind or ended my synchro days. I tried out for the 2008 Olympics but missed out on a spot on the team and after that decided that it was time to move on.
2. You achieved a lot both in swimming and now in Freediving. Can you compare training approach in both sports?
Training is actually very similar. I definitely trained much longer hours as a synchronized swimmer but with freediving I believe it’s more about quality over quantity.
3. Our huge congratulations on your great performance this year in CNF. Are you concentrating mainly on this discipline in your depth training?
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for CNF. I’m not sure why because breaststroke has always been my worst stroke. I think at the moment though I’m mostly focusing on it because my equalization is terrible and I haven’t been able to equalize deep enough to do decent CWT or FIM dives.
4. In 2015 you did 48 meters, 2016 – 58, 2017 – 68 (which is the new National Record!!!). Looks like you like number “8”. So, what to expect from you in 2018? 78 meters?
I actually didn’t realize that until you pointed it out. I really have to work on being less predictable! I think a lot of us freedivers subconsciously steer towards certain numbers. I don’t think of myself as a superstitious person but maybe I am! The number 8 just sounds so much better than 7 or 9…
5. What is a typical daily training routine for you? What kind of short/long term goals do you have now?
Up until this year, I’ve been working full time around training so I usually train in the pool 3-4 times after work during the week and then try to squeeze maybe some gym or yoga in during the week too. Then it is a matter of arriving at a destination with enough time before the competition to let your body adapt to the pressure and work on equalization. This year I took a gap year from work to travel and focus on freediving so that makes things a lot easier.
6. You also doing very well in a pool disciplines, actually you are 2017 Pool National Female Champion! So, what do you like to train more, pool or depth?
If it’s a choice between being in the ocean or being in a swimming pool every day I will always choose the ocean. However, I do enjoy training in the pool and sometimes it’s just more practical. In Brisbane where I live we don’t have easy access to depth like a lot of freedivers.
7. I saw a video on the YouTube (I think it is 2014), where you do DNF with no packing. Are you changed your approach since then or you still don’t pack?
I still don’t pack. Maybe one day I will but I always wanted to see how far I could get without packing and show new freedivers that there is a lot more you can learn to improve your freediving before you start packing.
8. Last year we all saw your amazing photo session with Ben Von Wong. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
The Von Wong shoot was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had in freediving. We were in these underwater caverns with sharks and I was wearing this crazy dress that was almost impossible to swim in. On top that the water wasn’t that warm and I was relying on a scuba diver for air. It was not easy but I’ve always enjoyed a challenge. I’d really like to participate in more of these projects in the future.
9. Freediving becoming more popular nowadays. What is your opinion about freediving development in the future?
I hope it becomes as popular if not more popular than scuba diving. The more people who freedive the easier it will be to find people to freedive with! I also hope that as freediving becomes more popular people will become more aware of the risks involved with holding your breath underwater and what to do in case of a hypoxic or shallow water blackout.
10. And at the end, what advice can you give to someone who just finished their first freediving course?
Find people to train with. The main reason I’ve stayed in the sport for so long is that I have a great group of people back home that I train with and that keeps me looking forward to training each week.
Our congratulations for you to become Freediving National Record holder for Germany in CWT on VB-2107! Thank you for finding some time to answer our questions and sharing your love for Freediving!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself (where you was born and grew up, at what age you started swimming, what hobby you had before start freediving)
I am half German, half American. I grew up in Germany (south west part) close to Stuttgart, studied in Konstanz at Germany’s biggest and deepest lake (256m) and learned freediving there. Swimming I started early at around 5-6 years. I always liked to be in the water, although I didn’t join any swimming club or so. During school and university, my biggest hobby was not sport related but more music related. I was fascinated by going to concerts and music festivals. I also have been working until today in the concert business as a booking manager for part time.
2. Do you remember when and how you tried Freediving for the first time? And why did you like it?
I joined a beginner course in the lake of Konstanz. I could hold my breath 3 minutes and go to 20m and I realized fast how challenging this sport is, which I liked. I had lots of trouble with equalization though and I was not able to dive head first. As soon as I learned how to Frenzel, things got more serious. I had my first competition also in the lake and soon went for more and more competitions.
3. How did you come up with the idea to become a Freediving instructor? How did you manage to arrange your time between teaching and competing on such a high level?
It was basically important for me to become an instructor to learn more about teaching. I found it interesting and I hoped to gain life experience from teaching and responsibility you have as an instructor in the water. At the same time, I realized that through teaching you can also learn a lot since you start reading more about freediving (due to students questions which you fail to answer) and on the other hand building your own teaching style. Of course, teaching and competing at the same time is hard, but it can be also a nice balance. After a few days of teaching, you really like to go deep again. And motivation is so important for deep diving. My best pre training + competition was actually my first national record with 91m free immersion. And exactly during that period, I had lots of courses. I used the day offs for training and each and every dive was nice, clean and a relaxed dive. 80m, 82m, 84m, 86m, 88m and then finally 91m.
4. Once again congratulations with NR for Germany (CWT 93 meters)! Are you looking forward to reaching magic 100 meters mark any soon? 😉 If yes, what it will mean for you?
Of course, 100m is a nice number, but for me, it is also more important to be good in the other disciplines and do nice dives. If I can reach a 100m one time just by having a good run, it will not be worth it. I would like to hit a 100m and claim that I can do it again. But for this, my body and my mind need to be ready enough. At the moment it is not and that is important to know to remain on a healthy road towards success.
5. On VB-2017 you made an attempt of 67 CNF. What happened during this dive? Why did you decide to make an early turn? Are you looking for becoming NR in this discipline as well in the future?
I had argued with board colleagues from AIDA Germany which did not let me dive in peace. At the board, there is somebody who really tries to work against me and such battles are not a good place for a freedivers mind. But yes, I plan to dive deeper in CNF. I personally think that there I have great potentials since hypoxia is no topic for me and my technique looks okay. Actually, I just broke the NR with 67m a few days ago in a competition in Panglao, Philippines.
6. Coming back to training, are you splitting equally your time between different disciplines? Any pool or strength training?
I like to switch between the disciplines. All disciplines have their pros and cons. FIM is relaxed and easy to equalize deep. Descend is the easiest for me. On the other hand, you need good apnea and a strong mind since you are deep and you only have the rope to get up. CWT is fast, you enjoy the speed and the power behind the monofin. On the other side, you need a good technique to not become lactic and to be able to keep the relaxation which is needed for deep equalization. CNF is physically hard and the detail is most important. On the other hand, it is not so deep and the numbers seem to be more double for the mind.
If I am in the water for training, I try to avoid work out. Nevertheless, I see work out also as an important part to remain strong. Especially when you are already getting skinny you can’t effort to lose the power you need for freediving. If I have a few days or weeks off from freediving, I like to train in the gym or at home to build up strength. Pool training is nice for technique and mental training.
7. I saw that you started crowd funding campaign to go to Freediving World Championship 2017. Wish you to reach this goal and hope our readers decide to support you! Can you say a couple of words why this is so important for you? (interview was taken a month ago, so Tim already manages to get enough money to go!!!)
That is easy: Because it is very expensive to go there this year, especially when you are coming from Europe and also if you already attended Vertical Blue in that year. I do not have the money to go or if I would need to work and have no time for training. The announcement that the World Championship will take place in Roatan came quite late this time. So I decided to register for Vertical Blue and see if I can finance Roatan somehow. I saw that other athlete already successfully funded themselves with crowd funding. On one hand I know it might not be so nice to ask for money, but on the other hand, I believe that those who support me really like to do that. I always feel happy to give support if I can and I want.
8. Did freediving become more popular in Germany since you have started practicing it?
I don’t know. I worked for a bit more than a year at the board at AIDA Germany, but the problem is that it is led mainly by bureaucrats who have no idea about freediving. Germany is, for example, the only country who still has lake records and it is also recognizing No Limit records. Media will not distinguish between a 100m No Limit and a 100m Constant Weight or a 130m DNF World Record (in the lake) or a real world record of 244m. What Germany needs is stories and a nice representation of the sport. Many people still believe that it is an extreme sport for adrenaline freaks. Some people take the advantage and sell themselves as such ones and simply misrepresent the sport. But there are also others who are invited into talk shows and give very nice examples for how nice freediving can be. I hope that especially competitive freediving can be more established.
9. Tell us about your personal Freediving plans and how you see freediving in the future in general?
I plan to take part in Honduras at the AIDA World Championship. I hope I can hit new PBs there and I am also looking forward to this competition in general. Freediving becomes more and more popular for sure. With this, the freediving world faces a difficult task, which is making/keeping competitions safe and professional. At the last two World Championships of AIDA, there were huge and embarrassing mistakes happening, which in my personal opinion also happened due to arrogance by the judges and not listening to the athletes. I hope that those mistakes will not happen again and that the administration at AIDA will start working properly again.
Big congratulations for your outstanding performance on VB-2107! Thank you for finding some time to answer our questions!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
Thank you Sergey, I am originally from Cornwall in the UK and moved to Barbados in 2011 with my wife. Growing up in a seaside town (Perranporth) I was always in the sea surfing, swimming, Jr life-saving club or fishing but the water is very cold and murky so I never really got into diving. When I moved to Barbados I found warm (28C) seas with visibility exceeding 30m on some days! I instantly got into spearfishing and the deep started calling me. I wanted to freedive deeper, stay longer, hunt better fish and it just went from there. In 2013 I set up ‘Spearfishing Barbados’ offering guided spearfishing tours around Barbados which have been growing every year. In 2015 I went to train with Vertical Blue (Jonathan Sunnex & Will Trubridge) where I completed my AIDA Instructor course and at the same time setting a PB of 62m with bi-fins. I opened Barbados’ first freediving school at the beginning of 2016 and run AIDA courses weekday and weekend all year round.
2. What about freediving? When and how you try it for the first time? And why did you like it?
I got into spearfishing through a mutual friend who took me out and let me follow and watch. I remember diving down to 30ft and instantly turning and heading back for the surface! However, it was at this time I discovered I could equalize handsfree and spent as much time as possible freediving whenever I could. I really enjoy the peace and quiet you find when freediving and much prefer it to scuba. Being able to just walk down to the end of the road with fins and a mask and go diving for hours was an amazing experience each and every time.
3. How often do you train? What is your normal training routine?
Because of the spearfishing tours and freediving courses, I dive quite a bit already, anywhere from 3-7 days a week I am in the water freediving. In the lead up to VB, I supplemented my work schedule with pool training working on my monofin and no-fins technique as well as CO2 tolerance. Some days I would spearfish for 3 hours then go and do an hour or two at the pool in the evening working on just technique.
Two great sessions I do in the pool are over/under – you swim 25m on the surface, touch the wall and then start 25m DYN, reach the other side and immediately go back to 25m on the surface. Another training session which helped was to perform a STA followed by DYN – 1-minute static then 50m DYN with short rests.
ALWAYS TRAIN WITH A BUDDY!
4. You showed very impressive results on all three depth disciplines! Do you split training time equally between them?
Thank you! In the lead up to VB I had 3 weeks at Deans Blue Hole and would dive FIM, CWT then CNF followed by a day of rest. I had spent a lot of time in the pool training for CWT and CNF so felt very strong diving to depth in those disciplines. 50m CNF was actually a PB for me, I had done 48m in training, about a week before which felt great so decided to round it off to 50m and I surfaced strong with lots of energy left for more. During training, I had progressed very well in CWT and FIM making small improvements every day. After each training session, I would go home, export the dive data from my watch and analyze my profile making sure my descent speed was correct and making notes on what felt good and what could be improved to take into the next session.
5. Why decide to compete in the first place? Are you going to do it again?
After opening my freediving school I wanted to try my hand at a competition and also represent the country which I had made home for the last 6+yrs. There were no National Records for Barbados for men at this point so any white card performance would claim an NR, however I wanted to really give it my best shot and get white cards I would be proud of. Yes, I am scheduled to compete later this year at Blue Element 2017 in Dominica (October 13th – 21st) with my old Instructor Trainer Jonny Sunnex! My goals for this comp are to extend my CNF record and hopefully add a few more meters on to my CWT and FIM records.
6. It was your first competition, how you manage the stress? Or it was not stressful at all?
Yes, this was my first ever competition and I would say I was more stressed during training than I was during my official dives. During training you have to co-ordinate with other persons schedule so you will always have to compromise. When training you want to be respectful of everyone’s time so often take it in turns which means your warm ups usually take longer and by the time you do your target dive you may even be too cold.
On competition days I would arrive at the Blue Hole at least 1hr before OT to check in and almost every day my resting heart rate was 100BPM! Haha! Once I got my suit on and clipped my lanyard to the warm up line however I was totally relaxed and actually my warm up dives where better/more relaxed than the ones during training. On the comp line during my countdown I breathed with my snorkel until 1min before OT which helped to tune out noises and other distractions with my eyes closed. I would then finish my breathe up vertically on the line, keeping my eyes closed and just listening to the announcer. On my very first dive of the comp (76m FIM) I was completely relaxed all the way to the bottom plate but once I had that tag in my hand all of the nerves finally caught up with me and my contractions started the moment I turned. The first dive was always going to be my hardest and after this one things got easier and more relaxed with each dive.
7. What do you think about VB? Anything what you think can be improved?
VB, as we all know, is one of [if not THE] top competition each year and the organization is absolutely spot on as well as the safety team being very professional and courteous. During the closing ceremony, Will even mentioned that throughout the entire competition there was not a single delay in the schedule which is a testament to the professionalism and organization of this event. Having not yet experienced any other competition I cannot really say if I think there is anything that can be improved but I think everyone at VB is on point.
8. Tell us about your future plans and how do you see freediving in the future?
My plans moving forward are to continue growing my freediving school here in Barbados and attract more people to the island wanting to learn, both from around the Caribbean and all over the globe. I have already had students come over from nearby islands to train as well as going myself to Grenada earlier this year to teach a group of avid divers and spearos so the sport of Freediving is definitely on the up! I think more people are going to move from scuba to freediving as time goes on as well as people who just really enjoy snorkeling wanting to learn more about freediving and improve their ability and enjoyment underwater. We also actively promote the hunting of Lion fish and regularly give talks in Barbados informing people about this invasive species and why we need more freedivers out there removing them – and eating them!
Follow Alex on his Instagram and Facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get more stories from Freedivers about Freediving 😉
We would like to introduce our today’s guest Adam Stern. Multiple Australian national record holder, rising star in Freediving with recent achievements of 100 meters (CWT)!
Adam, thank you for finding time to reply some of our questions.
1. I know that you started your Freediving (at least officially) during your time on Koh Tao, Thailand. What was the most difficult part of the first course? And why you signed up for the next level?
I was just backpacking around Asia and I was on Koh Tao, Thailand at that time, doing my PADI Advanced Open Water course. And once I saw a freediving center – Apnea Total and thought that it was cool and took a course and kept training with them.
I remember I did my first dive to 20 meters and it was easy and I did another one and it was a little bit more challenging and I did another one and I was cold and tired and I remember on the last dive I had a lot of contractions but in the Apnea Total course we weren’t taught what contractions were so I was very surprised at the horrible feeling.
2. Do you remember the moment when you realized that freediving is not only a hobby for a few weeks but something more important?
It happened when I was training in Roatan and one day reached 70 meters deep. I was just training for fun and it was all going well. When I reached that depth I was thinking wow I’m getting better in this, might be I should see what happen if I take it more seriously. After that, I came home and started training more seriously in a pool and then went to Dahab and started depth training there.
3. You are well known for your competition performance (Vertical Blue 2016 and Blue Element 2016 is just to name a few of them). But do you remember your first competition? Now, when you get more experience with it, is it easier to manage stress during competition? If it is not a big secret, what are your future plans as a competitive Freediver?
It was a mini comp in Dahab in 2013. I announced a dive 15 meters shallower than my PB just to have a nice competition experience. In my first few competitions I was quite nervous but now it doesn’t stress me at all and I’m definitely enjoying competing more and more the more I do it.
My future plan is always just to get deeper and deeper! 🙂 My target in freediving is always to progress, always to hit PB depths. I will do that for as long as I am enjoying training and competing in freediving. I could say things like Oh, I would like a world record! And I would love nothing more than a world record. But I find that large and far away goals are not that effective as having many small, short-term goals. So the goal for me is always simply a PB. Every single time I train or I do training cycle I want to PB.
4. To be able to compete on the highest level you obviously need to be in a great shape. How do you manage to combine teaching and training?
I am the competitive diver and my focus was and always will be on my own training and competitions. So, I have to structure my business around that. Basically what I do is dedicate a period of time to teaching and a period of time where I’m not teaching at all, just training.
My training schedule is quite complex and depends on which phase of training I am in. I break my training at base training and depth training.
My base training is training in the gym 5 days a week. I train CrossFit which is high-intensity interval training. I also train three days a week in a pool mostly doing dynamic tables. I mostly do hypoxic tables which are actually CO2 tables to the point of hypoxia. This base training period makes up about 2 thirds of my training cycle.
Then I go to a location to start diving deep. The frequency of my dives depends on how deep I’m diving. When I am above 80 meters it’s three days and one day off, between 80 and 95 – two days and one day off. And then any deeper than that it’s one day and one day off. My training in structured and I almost never cancel dives or leave it up to how I feel in the morning. I like to just get up and get it done.
Obviously, if I am tired and I need a rest, then I rest. But besides this, I don’t give my mood any power over me. If my body feels good and it’s time to go to dive or time to go to the gym or to the pool – I go. There was countless time where I’ve had no desire to train but I make myself train.
5. And why did you decide to start teaching freediving at the first place? Why PADI? What is your favorite PADI Freediving course to teach?
In the beginning, I was not really interested in becoming an instructor. I just wanted to make some cash while leaving in Dahab at the time. And then I realized that I really enjoy teaching, I fell in love with it and still love teaching. When PADI launched their freediving program I knew they had the biggest market potential and the largest reach. They had the largest potential to actually expand the freediving industry more than any other company that have ever been involved in freediving. So, I stepped in to be involved in this expansion, to be in a front line, and to help growing freediving as a sport and as an adventure activity.
My favorite course to teach is the instructor course. It is the most intensive and interesting course to teach. And I can work very closely with divers who are diving at a high level.
6. In your opinion – what are the main qualities which freediving instructor should have?
Someone who has expert knowledge in Freediving, who has expert skills in freediving, and very high-level teaching skills. Every instructor is different and teaches in their own way. Every instructor’s style may work or may not work with different students so there is no such thing as the perfect instructor.
7. What do you think, who can apply for PADI Freediver course (level of fitness or age)? Is it a course for everyone or you should be somehow prepared for it?
Anyone can apply and join PADI freediving course! Obviously, you need a reasonable level of fitness, let’s say you should be able to swim continually 200 meters or snorkeling 300 meters. If you can, you then you’re absolutely ready for the course. I believe everyone can do it. Obviously, if you have issues with your heart etc you should get checked my a doctor before you sign on for a course but apart from medical limitations, everyone can do it.
8. Now freediving slowly comes to be “in trend”, probably same like it was with yoga 10 years ago. More freediving centers, more students…What are the pros and cons of it?
The increase of freedivers and the growth of the freediving industry is fantastic. I love freediving soo much that I love to see more and more people doing it. The only issue with the freediving explosion is that there are some parts of the world where people are choosing not to take freediving courses which are so dangerous and in the end will only reflect badly on us all.
9. What is your opinion about freediving development in the future? What is the best way for it?
I would love to see it as big as a scuba diving. I think right now what is popular worldwide is all kinds of adventure sports, adventure activities, adventure travel. Freediving is all about adventure! People like to have a challenge. I see freediving constantly growing but what I want to see is the amateur sport of freediving became professional. A professional sport with paid athletes. It’s happening slowly. Now we have more divers than ever who can dive over 100m and the gap between the world’s elite professional divers and those aspiring to be is closing.
10. What could be your contribution, as a PADI Ambassador, in this process?
My goal as a PADI ambassador promotes freediving as much as possible, especially safe diving practices and promote PADI courses which I personally believe is the best and safest way to learn freediving.
11. And at the end, what advice can you give to someone who just finished their first freediving course?
Go and have some fun! Go deep snorkeling, go freediving in beautiful locations, explore the Ocean. You can just literally go anywhere and just check out what is beneath the surface! You don’t need any preparation, just go!
And when you’re ready to go for an advanced course! You’ll dive deeper, hold your breath longer, improve your knowledge of freediving safety and learn so so much more about your body, which is the most important.
The advice I would give to people getting into freediving as a sport. I would tell them, don’t take it too seriously! Have fun! If you are not having fun there is no point doing it anyway. Enjoy freediving. Enjoy the sensation of being in the water and have a wonderful, wonderful time. Never push yourself.
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Рады представить Российскую звезду фридайвинга Игоря Самохина, успешно выступившего на Чемпионате РФ по фридайвингу 2017!
Игорь, спасибо, что нашли время ответить на наши вопросы.
1. Во фридайвинг вы пришли после довольно серьезной травмы, в 2010 году…. Почему именно фридайвинг, а не, допустим, просто занятие плаванием? Что понравилось больше всего с самого начала, а что было не очень? Помните Ваше самое первое занятие?:-)
Сразу оговорюсь, что «российской звездой фридайвинга» я себя не считаю и воспринимаю Ваше обращение исключительно с иронией. Я себя позиционирую, как крепкого середняка, находящегося с еще десятком моих хороших товарищей в пелотоне, возможно в его начале. Звездами у нас являются Алексей Молчанов и Александр Костышен. И еще Андрей Матвеенко, который давно оторвался от пелотона, но еще не догнал Алексея и Сашу, но у него еще всё впереди.
Я не сразу пришел во фридайвинг после травмы, восстанавливался где-то 1.5 года. Почему занялся фридайвингом? Когда-то сам анализировал, что повлияло, что было начальным импульсом? Было два основных мотива: 1. Когда я вернулся из армии в 1985 году, ходил пару лет в бассейн Олимпийский, плавать. Я тогда только-только научился. Проплывал с трудом 50 метров и отдыхал. В какие-то дни параллельно с нами, любителями, на соседних дорожках ребята занимались подводным спортом – плавали в моноласте. Меня тогда поразило, с какой скоростью и легкостью они ныряли, как чья-то тень мелькала, как торпеда под водой. Вот это впечатление мне и запомнилось. Я даже после несколько раз пытался найти моноласту, но, видимо, тогда это было еще сложно. После периодически пытался найти секцию, где можно было бы научиться. Но как-то всё не сросталось. 2. Я раньше часто летал в Египет и увлекся подводной фотосьемкой. Часами плавал-нырял, часто сильно закислялся, когда делал это без должного отдыха. Чувствовал, что навыков ныряния мне не хватало. Хотелось улучшить свои возможности пребывания под водой. Ведь когда фотографируешь какую-нибудь рыбку, долго ждешь нужный ракурс, часто ныряешь. Удачный кадр сделать сложнее, чем подстрелить рыбу из подводного ружья.
Плюс после травмы понял, что потихоньку нужно увеличивать нагрузки, хотя врачи и говорили всякие глупости)). Вот это все и привело меня в бассейн. Правда, я сразу же пошел заниматься и моноластой в ЦСКА ВМФ к Лене Жиляковой, и на курсы фридайвинга в Олимпийский к Оле Суряковой.
Понравилось всё. Я всегда любил воду во всех её проявлениях.
Что не понравилось даже не помню. Скорее всего, такого не было. Может быть, хотелось заниматься больше по времени. Хотя в первые 1.5 года я занимался 4-5 раз в неделю.
2. На ваш взгляд, что является вашей сильнейшей дисциплиной – динамика в моноласте (DYN) или динамика без ласт (DNF). Почему так? Насколько это отражает тренировочный процесс? Ваше мнение, являются ли фридайверы с многолетним плавательным (в том числе и соревновательным) опытом более успешные в DYN/DNF?
Раньше я бы сказал, что DYN, но в этом году я немного подтянул DNF, и они у меня почти сравнялись. Правда, на последнем питерском чемпионате России (CMAS) я опять немного улучшил результат в ласте, так что она у меня снова немного вырвалась вперед, но думаю, что ненадолго)). Ласта у меня идет легче. Похоже, я немного неуклюжий, и в ласте нужно делать меньше движений, и это меньше влияет на гидродинамику.
Последние месяцев 6 я больше уделял внимание брассу. Считаю, что это более чувствительный вид ко всему: и к технике, и к развесовке, и к гипоксии. Т.е, если я правильно вывесился для брасса, то и для ласты это подойдет. Тоже и при подготовке к соревнованиям. Я перед московским чемпионатом, как уже говорил, чаще плавал длинные дистанции брассом – прошел свой официальный максимум, а в ласте же не доплыл до максимума метров 25. Потом перед соревнованиями мне Максим Жиляков сделал новую ласту: немного помягче. И так как она была «необкатанная», то я не ждал от себя хороших результатов. Но, на удивление, в обоих чемпионатах я все же занял первые места в ласте)). Это опять подтверждаем мою теорию о большей чувствительности брасса.
3. Еще раз поздравляем с первым местом в общем зачете и отдельно в дисциплине DYN на Чемпионате России 2017! Рассчитывали ли вы на такой результат? Как вы считаете, что помогло выиграть именно вам (настрой, опыт, тренировки)? Как справляетесь с предсоревновательным стрессом (если таковой имеется 😉 )
За поздравления – спасибо))
До соревнования я по диагонали анализировал лучшие результаты участников. Получилось, что у меня брасс был где-то на седьмой позиции, ласта – на пятой, а статика, кажется, на 15-ой. Я рассчитывал, что: улучшу свои результаты в статике и брассе; а в брассе считал, что у меня хорошие шансы попасть в тройку. Про ласту ничего не думал, так как тренировал ее мало, ласта была новая и необкатанная. Хотел просто ее испытать)). Кстати, та же история повторилась и на питерском чемпионате – тоже ласта была новая, необкатанная, уже от Алексея Молчанова (приз за 1-е место в Москве). И опять нежданное первое, да еще с улучшением своего личника на 7 с лишним метров. Короче – сплошное везение в этом году))) – все ожидания выполнил и перевыполнил.
Выиграть помогла удача, более длительная подготовка к соревнованиям (в этом году я специально с этой целью участвовал в декабре в соревновании World Class V), не самые хорошие старты для тех, кто вместе со мной претендовали на призовые места, и отсутствие на соревнованиях наших лидеров (Саши Костышена, Алексея Молчанова и Андрея Матвеенко).
С соревновательным стрессом не справляюсь – я просто с ним живу эти дни. И перед первым днем соревнования опять удалось уснуть часа на 2, и перед вторым была похожая история. У меня в Москве всегда так было, но обычно не спалось только перед первым днем, а тут не получилось и перед вторым. Но, на результаты это не повлияло)). Нужно просто перед стартом хорошо подготовиться к нырку и вуаля))
4. На Чемпионате России 2015 года в дисциплине DNF вы показали результат 140 метров (первое место), в 2016 году 134 метра (4 место), в 2017 году 150 метров и второе место! Что повлияло на соревновательный результат?
Прошлый год в московских соревнованиях для меня был неудачным. Очень плохо выступил. Был недоволен. Да и вообще, у меня было три года застоя по всем трем дисциплинам. Вы не написали, что в 2014 брасс у меня был 141м. Так что динамика была еще хуже: 141-140-134. Правда, через месяц после Москвы в Питере удалось нырнуть на третье место 140 метров с копейками (немного подправить год), но всё равно не важно. Ласта тоже: 205-209 (красная)-201. Чтобы не подумать, что я уперся в потолок в этом году, как уже говорил, начал подготовку пораньше. Так что на результаты влияет подготовка и настрой в голове, когда вы не готовы мириться с тем, что лучшие свои результаты вы уже достигли. Но тут главное не борсить: спорт у нас необычный и силой воли решить ничего не получится. Нужно постоянно анализировать свое состояние, прогресс, ошибки, почему дальше не идет; пробовать что-то новое, верить в себя, верить в то, что пределов нет.
5. Некоторые критикуют нас за то, что в наших вопросах много “спорта”. На ваш взгляд, какое место во фридайвинге занимает именно спортивный аспект? Кроме спортивных достижений, что еще дает вам фридайвинг?
Спорт во фридайвинге опционен: большинству он вообще не интересен. Люди любят нырять, ездить-общаться (видимо, фридайвинг хороший фильтр: меня окружают очень интересные и главное светлые люди). Кто-то любит фридайвинг за особые состояния при нырянии: покой, осознанность, растворение, полет, тишину, нахождение здесь и сейчас… Кому-то нравится контакт с природой через фридайвинг. А кто-то просто любит воду во всех ее проявлениях. Мне интересны все эти грани.
Когда человек начинает у нас заниматься, он постепенно как нанизывание бусин, начинает оценивать свое состояние, что и когда он ест перед тренировкой, устал он или нет, какие дополнительные практики могут повлиять на результат, как глубоко он расслабляется, где возникает дискомфорт и какова его динамика, как справиться с волнением и с тем же дискомфортом, и тд и тп
6. Игорь, как находите мотивацию тренироваться и успешно выступать на соревнованиях различного уровня уже более семи лет? Какие краткосрочные и долгосрочные цели ставите перед собой?
Ну, для тренировок мотивацию мне искать не надо – мне просто это очень нравится. Если была бы возможность я бы вообще не вылезал из воды. Когда-то в Египте я плавал-нырял по 5-7 часов, выходя из воды, чтобы что-то съесть и перезарядить аккумулятор в фотоаппарате. Для участия в соревнованиях возможно нужна мотивация, а точнее не для участия, а для стремления показать какие-то результаты или улучшить свои достижения. Вот последнее (постоянное улучшение) скорее всего и является моей мотивацией, если в ней возникает необходимость. Я просто считаю, что если я чем-то занимаюсь, то это должно улучшаться. Или даже не так – любая практика – это инструмент для самокопания (кто-то называет это повышением осознанности). Т.е Вы чем-то занимаетесь и через это познаете себя (и не только). И здесь не важно чем, важно, чтобы это было интересно и не требовало дополнительной мотивации, кнутов и пряников. А соревнования нужны в качестве дорожных знаков: результаты растут – двигаетесь в правильном направлении, нет – нужно понять почему.
7. Фридайвинг становится более и более популярным. Появляется больше школ фридайвинга, больше студентов… Каким вы видите развитие фридайвинга в будущем?
Надеюсь, что он будет признан ни как непонятное экстремальное занятие для узкого круга любителей, но и как интересный зрелищный вид спорта для широкой аудитории.
Надеюсь, что в нашей стране, которая дала миру такого человека как Наталья Молчанова, найдутся средства для строительства глубоководных бассейнов.
8. И в завершение, какой совет вы могли бы дать тем читателя, которые только начали заниматься фридайвингом?
Вот это для меня самый сложный вопрос. Не зная зачем человек пришел, трудно ему что-то посоветовать. Тут вспоминается старый мультик, где главная героиня (уж, не помню кто) стремилась делать добро. У нее это как-то не очень получалось. Например: увидев, лежащую под солнцем на горячем камне ящерицу, она окатила ее холодной водой. И так далее…
А так если меня о чем-то спрашивают – я стараюсь отвечать, если могу))
Подписывайтесь на наш блог и читайте интересные интервью с российскими и зарубежными фридайверами!!
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?
I 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 up
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?
As 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?
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?
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
1. Как и когда вы узнали о фридайвинге? Почему решили заняться этим спортом и каковы были первые шаги?
Само слово «фридайвинг» я услышал в 2003 году. Не уверен точно, возможно оно было и раньше где-то в подсознании, ведь в нашей стране уже был известен этот спорт к тому времени. Правильнее сказать так: я осознал, что есть такой вид подводной активности именно тогда.
Моя работа была связана с подводной деятельностью, плюс к тому моменту я уже около 10 лет увлекался подводной охотой. Захотелось систематизировать свои знания о задержке дыхания и о тренировках. В 2004 году мы организовали курс по фридайвингу в нашем подводном клубе МГУ, который провела, приглашенная нами Юлия Петрик, ну и конечно сами учились на этом курсе. Про тренировки я не узнал чего-то нового, но появилось желание начать эксперименты над собой. По-настоящему я понял, что такое для меня фридайвинг в 2008 году, познакомившись с Умберто Пелиццари.
2. Какая самая любимая и нелюбимая дисциплина во фридайвинге? И если возможно объяснить, то почему?
Если говорить о спортивном фридайвинге, то самой любимой дисциплиной для меня является FIM – свободное погружение. Именно в этой дисциплине я могу максимально расслабиться и уйти глубоко в себя, не нужно фокусироваться на положении тела относительно троса, думать о технике, все внимание уходит на осознание и оценку своих ощущений. Именно в этой дисциплине я ближе всего с морем. Мне нравятся все дисциплины и способы погружения под воду. А вот если говорить о тех, в которых я реже ныряю, то это дисциплина CNF – ныряние в глубину без ласт. Причина в том, что я не пловец, и недостатки в технике делают эту дисциплину для меня наиболее травмоопасной. Последнее время я стал так же недолюбливать NoLimits – погружение в глубину без ограничений. Кстати сначала я очень любил эту дисциплину. Причина та же – травмоопасность. Если не говорить о фридайвинге как о спорте, то самое любимое занятие – это фотоохота, подводная фотография с задержкой дыхания.
3. Не могли бы в нескольких словах рассказать о своем подходе к тренировками. Как часто в неделю занимаетесь тренировками? Следуюте плану тренировок или импровизируете опираясь на настроение/самочувствие/внешние факторы?
Я не спортсмен. Тренировки для меня – способ, впоследствии комфортно нырять под воду, не мучиться, не бороться. Занимаюсь фактически каждый день. Когда в городе: это сухие тренировки, тренировки в бассейне, ментальные треннинги. Если я у моря, то там само собой добавляются занятия на глубине.
4. Как часто экспериментируете в своих тренировках и пробуете что-то новое?
Я аналитик по складу характера и ума, мне нравится экспериментировать и оценивать результаты экспериментов над собой. Видимо долгие годы работы биологом наложили сильный отпечаток на восприятие мира. Всё, что я смог достигнуть в смысле метров и секунд – продукт моих методических наработок и анализа. У меня никогда не было тренера.
5. Что мотивирует к тренировкам? Как справляетесь с обычной человеческой ленью/отсутствием желания идти на тренировку?
Мотивация мне уже не нужна. Я воспринимаю фридайвинг неотъемлемой частью своей жизни, одним из способов быть ближе к морю. Это моя работа, досуг, хобби, увлечение. Каждый день, не замечая этого, ты делаешь что-то, что поддерживает тебя в форме или улучшает навыки.
6. Следуете ли какой-либо диете? Что думаете насчет исключения тех или иных продуктов для избежания проблем с продувкой?
Не ем мясо уже больше 7 лет. Последние несколько месяцев контролирую режим питания и калорийность, веду дневник. Чтобы не было проблем с продувкой, как мне кажется, нужно просто тренироваться, уделять этому такое же внимание как и тренировкам на технику движения, выносливость или силу.
7. Вопрос о деньгах 🙂 Спонсирует ли кто-либо ваши выступления?
Нет. Участие во всех турнирах оплачивал сам. Сейчас считаю для себя это бесполезной тратой средств. Всё, что хотел получить от выступлений на соревнованиях, я получил.
8. Каковы ваши цели во фридайвинге? Какие краткосрочные и долгосрочные цели ставите перед собой?
Сейчас у меня нет целей во фридайвинге, как это принято понимать. Мне не интересно увеличивать глубину или время задержки дыхания. Это мой образ жизни. Какова цель в жизни? Каждый решает сам. Моя цель – гуманизация. Я стараюсь реализовать данный принцип через образование и просвещение. Мне кажется, фридайвинг очень хорошо вписывается в мою жизнь с этой точки зрения. Возможно, я бы вписал фридайвинг в одну из моих очередных экстремальных задумок в высокой Арктике. Прошлые эксперименты были интересны с точки зрения осознания своих возможностей и возможностей своего организма.
9. Есть ли увлечения помимо фридайвинга? Как восстанавливаетесь после тренировок?
Я просто не отделяю фридайвинг от всего остального. Это одно большое увлечение – жить. Общаться с теми, с кем интересно, любить, учиться, учить, видеть красоту окружающего мира, показывать это другим, тренироваться, тренировать, нырять, не нырять. Всё происходит само собой. Ну хорошо, если выделить, например, всякие странные для обывателя активности, и назвать их хобби, то последние годы меня занимают: работа с металлом в кузне – ковка, армрестлинг, фотография. Эти, скажем так увлечения позволяют переключиться, отдохнуть.
10. Чтобы посоветовали людям, которые только открыли для себя мир фридайвинга (или только собираются это сделать)?
Главный совет – попытаться понять зачем вам это нужно. Дальше терпение. Терпение нужно, чтобы избежать травм.