Thursday, 28 March 2013

Sniff...



Back in Sharm, I was faced with some of the wildest weather I have seen here so far. A storm that lasted several days smashed the jetty to pieces and tore the 150m long mooring line that anchors our platforms to the reef, seeing me and Freediving World staff Sergio paddling around in the waves, trying to stop the platforms from floating away over night. It was pretty hard work, and a different kind of training all together!


In the middle of all this, a filmcrew arrived to shoot a video of me freediving - of course! Who needs good weather for filming, anyway. When it was finally ok to get in the water, I went for a 100m dive and surprised myself as well as my coach by reaching the bottom with constant pressure in the ears and air in my mouth to equalize further - better than ever before! I was convinced that equalization problems were now a thing of the past and looking forward to lots of beautiful dives to 100+ meters.


Then again, things never go quite as planned, and what followed were three days with five to six hours in the water for the filmcrew, making me so tired I forgot how to be a freediver when it was time to train again properly. After some sessions getting stuck in various depths, it was time to take a break and get some rest. True to the tone of the training period so far, the weather chose to be stunning while I was out of the water, blasting us again with awful conditions as soon as I wanted to get back in. Feeling strong and ready to dive, I found myself landbased looking at the angry sea for four days! I even agreed with evil coach and got in the pool to train dynamics quite happily, with some nice long dives - adaptation and strength were all good, but that's only part of what you need for a world record in variable weight.


As soon as the weather improved we jumped in and I even got to do a beautiful 90m variable dive, sprinting back with no problems at all, before it all went wrong again for another week. With only ten days to go till the start of my attempt, no sign of improvement on the wind-and-waves front and considering the amount of rest I would need from the deep training dives, we have decided that we simply do not have enough days left to have a safe progression and that we have to cancel the attempt.

Of course, this is completely the right thing to do and the only way to deal with the situation. Nevertheless, it is really frustrating and hard for me - I absolutely HATE to quit!

I want to go snowboarding. When the weather is bad in the mountains, we simply go and drink coffee or Coronas!

Booooooohooooooo....

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Mid-training





It took three weeks to finally be well enough to get in the water. Evil coach, bored with his sniffling athlete, went off on HOLIDAY - shocking - and left me all alone with his new member of staff, Sergio. Left to test our (well - my) silly ideas, we went right ahead and destroyed ourselves so thoroughly with the TRX, we were both unable to walk for four days, with the stairs to our favorite coffee place becoming a major hurdle.  I added sprint intervals on the spinning bike and monofin swimming in the pool, and started to feel nicely tired instead of grumpy, restless and miserable.

This was followed by decent constant weight training when I was finally able to clear my sinuses. The time for a gentle start was past, so I jumped straight to repetitions, with dives up to 65m, 55m, 45m and 35m in one session burning whatever energy I had left after the TRX. It was beautiful to see the ocean and Luda Barracuda again, even if Murphy's law has provided the worst weather - as soon as I get in, a gale starts blowing and massive waves come up, leaving me banging my head into the platform while trying to relax, and as soon as I get out, it all stops! At least it's making my training extra efficient: nothing much will shock me any more. Think positive!


In week three I headed to Hurghada, to spend two days with SSI International Training Direktor Ronny the Kaiser Kain at his Instructor Trainer Seminar - the idea being that it is important to meet and share our knowledge ever so often. At least that was my excuse, while the true plan involved drinking a couple of beers and hanging out with people who know nothing about noseclips, monofins, mouthfills or similar.


I arrived in time to give the ten guys a tiny introduction into freediving - strangely, they all listened attentively and then proceeded to drop at my feet! It was not me, I promise, I was nice to them! I believe there was a sense of nervousness around regarding the dynamic required to pass the course, so they were all up for testing a few minutes of freediving breahting skills - anything to give them an extra couple of meters, I guess! Of course, watched over by me and Ronny they all did their swims easily enough, in a wide range of unorthodox styles - we'll fix that next time, guys!

Now I'm back in Sharm, and it's time to work equalization and see if the reef in 100+ meters ist still the same.

Can't wait!