Freediving Challenge in SA
SA Sisters do something extraordinary…. again….
The challenge was raised at our Christmas dinner and we jumped at the idea… We were challenged to hold our breaths for 3minutes and also to freedive to 25m. R10000 was bet against us by a skeptical friend, tequila sealed the wager and the party continued. A few short months later we took to the water to raise these funds for our charity and push every boundry imaginable.
Yes… of course we did it… but what we learnt along the way was far more special than we could ever have imagined.
Here is a blog posted by one Sister Gina…
The Sisters take on the deep.
The Sisters take on the deep.
While sinking deeper into the cold dark blue- it is an astonishing feeling to start letting go of your greatest primal fear, to trust in the remarkable gift of the human form, to embrace the internal battle of mind against the most powerful of all physiological urges- the urge to breathe. You can feel your body and diaphragm in a visceral fight against your willpower: “What’s wrong with you? Are you completely mad? Go up for air!” Free-diving is about overcoming fears and mental hurdles; it’s about finding that inner seal; holding onto that peaceful inner calm; it’s about conquering your self-doubts and inhibitions; it’s about letting go; it’s about trust. Yes-some may think free-diving is a little mad, but what a truly incredible discipline and what an amazing challenge for us Sisters to be a part of.
Free-diving is a sporting purist’s dream. It does not involve using any external breathing apparatus as in SCUBA, but relies solely on one’s mental and physical ability to hold your breath until resurfacing. Under the expert instruction and guidance of Mike Wood (free-diving professional and a deliciously dishy one at that!) and the legendary Hanli Prinsloo (our beautiful, mermadic 11x SA free-dive champion), nine of us Sisters donned some seriously sexy wetsuits and braved the deep blue to overcome two challenges: the first being to hold our breath for 3 minutes underwater; the second being to free-dive to 25 meters under the discipline of constant weight apnoea, where we have a weighted belt and have to dive into the depths following a sunken guide line.
Our training for this exciting challenge involved theory and practical lessons in breath hold techniques both in the swimming pool and at Blue Rock spread over the course of three weeks. We had some truly fantastic results from Saturday’s breath-hold challenge with six out of nine of us managing to pass the 3 minute mark including Lucia Brain doing an easy 4:50min.
Sunday’s dive challenge was certainly a day to remember. Starting out with some focussing yoga with Hanli in Kalk Bay’s serene Forge studio, we began to get our heads around summoning our ‘inner seal’. We then hot-footed it to Blue Rock where we faced some seriously chilly wind, yanked on our wetsuits and did the sexy-flexi for the camera.
Not all of us made it to 25m in the dive challenge (bar Kirsty Kirst who is just a beautiful machine), but we all certainly overcame some intense mental and physical hurdles, delving deeper into our own psyches as well as learning to dive deeper into the water. For some it was claustrophobia and self-doubt, for others it was equalising, the dark and the cold that had to be defeated. We all wrestled with some scary demons, but pushed through victorious through the mere act of persevering in the face of such a different and difficult challenge.
In the end I think we all gained a greater appreciation for the seal in us. How beautiful is it that human beings can push their physiology to these limits? And how privileged we are to have been given lungs, hearts and muscles that sustain our bodies so efficiently and so effortlessly.
A big thank you to Mike and Hanli for their immeasurable patience, for their time and generosity. Thank you for opening our eyes to this amazing sport and to this newfound appreciation for our bodies and the deep.