As always I blog in peace. And today I blog having just completed a level 1 free diving course. This equips you to dive to depth on one breath and with no artificial breathing apparatus. Crazy, no?
It’s a dangerous challenging sport. So why did I want to do this?
I have shifted into a space in my life where the stuff I do is about the stuff I do and it’s about me, but it’s also not about the stuff I do and also not about me. So a year ago when I took up swimming again, it was about the swimming and it was about me but it was about more than that and about many more people. It helped me further develop life skills that I am passionate about: courage, intention, commitment and the ability to win with any hand.
I have always loved the ocean, and in my twenties, I scuba-dived a lot. But learning to free dive, for me I looked forward to learning to get into a peaceful state under any circumstances, to operate in fearful conditions and to remain focused. All skills that I need in the life I have chosen and the work I do in pursuit of non-adversarial justice. I think a learnt way more than I bargained for.
Firstly I learnt some fascinating physiological facts. That physically we are capable of way more than we know. I learnt about the mammalian reflex that we have and that allows seals to dive to amazing depths on one breath. This reflex is triggered in us when our faces encounter water.
I learnt that at depth there is a fine line between life and death but for some the challenge is irresistible. I learnt that fear can be life-sustaining as it keeps you sharp and that the aim should not be to obliterate fear but to build courage to operate even when there is fear.
I learnt that 90% of the dive happens on the surface. Preparation is profoundly important. Life and death important. Your surface work determines the dive.
I learnt that most freediving fatalities happen in the pool. It is often the thing we are least scared of that kills us.
I learnt that positive thinking is no guarantee of success, but that negative thinking guarantees failure. I learnt the difference between negative thought processes and realistic problem solving. It is all very well to visualize peaceful conditions during your land training, but how does that help you if there is actual danger on the dive and at depth. Do the peaceable training, but prepare for dangerous eventualities. Visulaize yourself handling curve balls well.
I learnt that good diving decisions in the moment are critical. I learnt that self-preservation is a life skill that is to be highly valued. If someone is willing to risk there own life, are they the appropriate person to teach you?
I learnt about athleticism and I learnt about the central nervous system. Under stress, 80% of your oxygen is used up by the nervous system.
I learnt that I am not special, we are all special. I learnt to start thinking about where my strengths lie and to be free in this.
I learnt to balance my focus on the goal with focus on the skill. It is excellent skills that will get me there, not merely setting and envisioning the goal.
I learnt to intentionally do everything with a certain quality, a certain presence and to conquer fear by diving skilfully. Confidence is accomplished through effectiveness.
I learnt that is important to acquire excellent skill and to use resources frugally. The more skill we have, the less energy we need to use. Your behaviour under water (under stress) is key.
Are you seeing this stuff? Are you seeing the life application and the application in what we do, in our fight to restore the template, in our resistance of adversarial and violent methods of dispute resolution? Do you see?
I was so honoured to learn this stuff from Trevor Hutton, professional free diver, and deepest spear fisherman in the world. And I was honoured to learn this stuff alongside my colleague Andrew McGibbon and amazing young orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Pieter Mare.
And I was honoured to feel closer and gain more knowledge of our great King.
I will be unpacking the skills learnt in our Mediation Training Programs and upcoming seminars.
I am also super chuffed that I will be practising the diving skills in the future with my friends and Traveor Hutton
Until next time, peace.