What is that thing which is like a fuel, which gives us the power to keep moving forwards, to continue? I consider myself to be very lucky because I feel I have found one from many answers to that question.For me it is pure curiosity. My curiosity comes with an overwhelming desire to know more, to understand more and to see more. This desire is stronger than the fear of the unknown or the difficulties and the obstacles that we have to face on our journey to our dreams. Remember if there is an opportunity, grab it while you can. Sometimes it will work out for you and sometimes it won’t. Whatever happens always remember that the journey itself is a goal.
When I was seventeen years old I nearly ended up wheel chair bound with a rare autoimmune condition. I loved the ocean and wanted to see the world and that unfortunate set of circumstances left me heavily depending on others and strong medications with addictive side effects. I would spend countless hours looking through stunning photographs of the worlds beautiful oceans against the back drop of the typical cold dark hospital bed window view of the world. Life was mundane and ritualistic afternoon tea and different coloured pills were all you could look forward to.
It took me two years to find an alternative medicine which helped me enormously both physically and mentally. In that same time I also found freediving by training for a first time with my trainer Martin Zajac and APNEAMAN team. Freediving gave to me a sense of freedom that I had been longing for. You never really know what it’s like to be free until you lose your freedom. It’s something that we can easily take for granted until one day it’s gone. In the water I could move without pain and found a way to relax and how to be peaceful just with myself, deep in the depths of the ocean I am alone.
One day I suddenly decided that I no longer wanted to live the way I was living. I decided I wanted to be happy and take control of my life. I began training with this overwhelming desire and energy that just kept flowing through me. I learned that the attitude that I have towards my deep dive training is the attitude I want to apply to the entirety of my whole life. I train in the simplest way possible with a focus on how much I love what I am doing and with it all of those beautiful little moments that are given to me.
I love deep dives because in that moment of time and space nothing seems to exist. Depth is a vacuum of emptiness where there is no sense of right or wrong or good or bad. It just is pure joy in that very moment where I am completely vulnerable. If an untrained observer where to glimpse that moment of freefall where we are semi conscious falling into the depths of the ocean, head down and eyes closed, one would probably just laugh thinking that freedivers look like some super hero from a marvel comic book. However if you know the secret then that smile on your face would be more like a nod of sincerity.
I am now living the life of a traveller and athlete and I get to teach the sport I love whilst proudly holding national records for my country and being Apnea Academy Instructor. I am happy and grateful that I found the inner strength to follow my heart to pursue my passion and to question my medical prognosis that would have taken all my hopes and dreams away.
The most extraordinary thing about freedivers is their freedom. This doesn’t just apply in the water, but also in their hearts. Passion is energy that comes from doing the things that we love. It is not just about the number of breaths that we take, it’s about the moments that take our breath away. The biggest adventure is to live the life of our dreams and freediving is our chance to experience happiness as deep as the ocean. There is nothing more beautiful than becoming one with the ocean.
Life makes you fall. Sometimes these experiences can be particularly painful, but the only real failure is to give up. Never give up on your dreams!