Murphy loves me

When I was still going deep with lots of tanks - see photo above - my fantastic trimix instructor, Aaron Bruce, once told me never to forget that Murphy loves tech divers. I now realize that he also loves female athletes. All attempts at timing my world record attempt for the perfect time of the month have failed miserably, and so my training has gone rapidly downhill.

During one of the sessions I felt so bad, I hit the brake in 80m, because I had finally failed to keep contractions away on the way down. I was lucid enough to realize that having contractions at well below 100m would most likely give me a massive lung squeeze, so I turned early, grumbling the whole way up. It is a frustrating thing to experience in freediving, which is a sport largely controlled by the mind, but there are moments when you can mentally be as ready as you like but your body just won't play along. Murphy remained in full attack mode for the rest of the week, so I had to listen to super coach Andrea and take two days off to let my body recover. He has been with me on all my dives, as he has developed a new deep safety system: he comes down to meet me in 50-60m with a tech diving scooter! It is a really great moment to see him on the way up, just when I am thinking, am I there yet, am I there yet...

The break had me feeling great in the water yesterday, no stress at all, and I was psyched and happy heading down to 120m, when a freak incident hit me at around 70m: an enormous burp/hick-up! I felt like I had a bubble of air stuck in my throat, went into a full panic as what to do with this - unfortunately, I was unable to find a way to add it to my mouthfill - and by the time I reached 80m equalization was pure chaos. The chaos and I made it to 115m. Then I was so annoyed I kind of sprinted back up, which had Andrea struggle to follow me with the scooter, and earned me a telling off by both coaches. I know, I know, I will be good next time, I promise! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....and I know what you are thinking, but I have NOT been drinking beer before the dive! Honest!

After training I always have to wait around in the pool for Andrea to come and get me out of the 7mm Zodiac suit, so this is when we usually have our debriefings. I believe I might have wailed something along the lines of "I don't want to do another training dive, I don't want to, I don't want to" and the coaches agreed it was time to quit messing around and just go for the record.

Rope has been measured (in the dark, see above), judges are here, all is set. Minor detail: me doing the dive. Ah well...

Did I mention? I have now officially entered the panic phase.


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