One of my best teachers in life is this sport. It’s harsh, putting the truth right in my face. Every dive is a small adventure. There’s nowhere to hide. If you want to dive deeper it’s all up to you to see it and handle it.
Freediving is a strange sport. It’s small enough to not have much research done on training methodology. No one really knows what’s the best way to train, eat and prepare for freediving. As atheletes in other sports all train in a similar way, the top freedivers train differently. You think you might have found a way, only to some months later realise it’s changed – again. You might have found a way that works for you – and that doesn’t work for others in the same way. I’ve been down that road many times, only to conclude that change is the only constant.
It’s as a regular computer game. First you are a beginner. Until you reach the level of 40-50m the training is all about just freediving. You need to spend as much time in the water as possible, to learn about the environment of water and what you can do in it. After that different challenges arise; equalisation, lung-squeeze, difficult thoughts, oxygen issues, fear, LMC, swimming techniques, leg strength, nutrition, equipment, contractions. Each challenge is there to teach you something about your mind or your body.
From 20 years of training, education in physiology, training and nutrition I have tried and experimented widely on how to handle freediving. I’ve made more mistakes than successes. The more I have learned the less wise I got.
Some month ago I hadn’t been training anything freediving related for 5 weeks. Quite the opposite. I had knee surgery and was a bit of a weak wreck. But it was a good learning experience – and I was happy. Generally happier than ever. I returned to Dahab, prepared to start over with my freediving. Then I had some of my best, longest, strongest and most enjoyable dives ever. In the first warm-up dive I had the urge to giggle and I was so happy underwater I had to fight not to laugh out loud.
My new theory is based on the science of happiness and positive psychology. Happiness has a lot of good effects on the body and mind – (and the world). I believe that you can dive real deep if you are truly happy. You will dive deep if you are relaxed. (So if you get really happy by having a cup of coffee in the morning it might up weigh the negative effects coffee has on breathhhold).
Happiness is a solution to many things. If you are happy you will have a brighter outlook on life in general, find it easier to make solutions to problems, or see no problems at all – and most important of all; when you are happy you will naturally want to share it with others. You will naturally want to help others. That’s why I’m sharing this with you.
Sucess is not the key to happiness
Happiness is the key to sucess
If you love what you are doing
you will be successful
Happiness is not a small subject. To be happier you will get in touch with subjects like meaningfulness, positive emotions, engagement, accomplishment, gratitude, motivation and values. It will not only make you dive deeper, it will change your life. I will explore these subjects deeper this summer.