Being conservative in the freediving competition

Photo by Daan Verhoeven

I am writing from San Andreas island, Colombia! Nirvana, Ocean Guest competition finishs in two days. All athletes are going for their maximum. Weather is stormy, rainy and also hot and sunny. Surface of the ocean is calm yet strong current stopped us from most of our dives today. Apart from a current which surprised me, conditions are very good. Visibility is amazing and i have private date with sting rays on beautiful coral reef in front of my hotel, every afternoon. I actually enjoy colder weather. My slovakian blood which has been made in cold mountains of central Europe is not used to water which is warm like a tea!

This is my third competition in row this year and I can feel my body is already tired. If I calculate the points till today, I am winning the competition in woman category. However, that is not what I care about. The original plan was to make a new personal best in this competition, what means going deeper than 95m in CWT discipline. Due to an accident I had two weeks ago in Roatan, Honduras and medicine I had to take, I know that I am far away from my goal.

I did 40m CNF dive today and 70m CWT dive two days ago. I get white card and all points. I decided to spear my body for deepest dives which will come in next two days. I am still thinking about what I should do. If I should try to go deeper and touch my limits or if I should be so conservtive as I was till now. I really want to dive deep and I really want to do new national record for Slovakia. But if I consider all factors, I believe it’s better to remain conservative. Current,warm water,competition rope which is too stretchy,vertical position of my body during breath up instead of horizontal, lack of training due to an accident and very strong medication in last days is probably not the best recipe for new records.

My main focus is on World Championship. Last thing I need is other accident. Yet is very tempting, as new record is so close.

Many athletes faced a tricky situation today. Go for a deep dive, even there is a strong current which will make dive more physically domaining and longer as well or cancel the dive. Some of them decided to go, some decided to cancel the dive. These kind of decisions are always very hard. We want to go, we want to dive and compete yet we have to be smart and calculate.

I decided to go deeper tomorrow. But I told myself that if I don’t feel good, I will turn and I will go back to surface. To accept and acknowledge this option in yourself is very important in order to prevent an accident.

So being conservative does not have to necessary mean to annnounce shallower depth if you have nothing to loose from competitive point of view, but perhaps the ability to acknowledge that to turn early or cancel the dive is right thing to do in that moment.


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