Monday, 9 September 2013

Monofin attack


The first week of training at the 2013 freediving depth world championships has come to an end. Mostly, it was brilliant! I reigned in my freediving devil and took it easy, spending time on getting acclimatised to the beautiful mediterranean sea. Our favorite freediving waterworld is back out there, 2 miles from shore! There is something magical about diving into nothingness so far away from land. It makes that moment at depth feel all the more intense.


I had a really good dive to 75m on Friday - swimming up has never felt so easy, all the work I did to get the legs in shape is paying off - so yesterday I was mentally geared up to give myself a bit of extra rope and set the plate to 85m. Feeling nicely excited about this excellent plan I was walking down the beach, straight into the arms of Mr. Murphy, whom I have been dodging since April. My 5kg monofin slipped from my hands and landed on my foot with the sharp edge of the blade, giving me a nice clean cut all the way to the bone.

In classic freediver mode, my first thought was: oh no! my fin!! Having examined the blade for damage, I was relieved to see that it was fine. Next, I looked down to check my foot, thinking: oh, a bit of a cut! I was just considering if I needed to tape that before getting into the water, when Liv came over, took one look and went: "OH FUCK!!!" At this point it started to dawn on me that I might have a small problem here.

An hour later, I was in hospital, getting x-rayed to check for possible damage to the bone and stiched up by a young Greek doctor, who shook his head and then, as he proceeded to stich me without the slightest thought to anastethic, did an interesting mind thing: he told me to take a breath (now, this could mean many things to a freediver - how big should it be? Full? Half??), pushed the needle in and said, in a commanding tone: "no pain! There is NO PAIN!!!"... Aha. I thought I might mention that there was, indeed, some pain - my exact words were: "well, there is a bit..." - to which he responded: "NO! THERE IS NO PAIN!" At this point I finally got what he was doing - a mind game! Brilliant! I'm a freediver, so I get mind stuff. When he was done he told me to keep it dry (hmmmm) and  sent me off to contemplate if I could possibly get in the water the next day.



I needed various drugs, so after lunch Liv and Stavros took me to the pharmacy and then for a coffee and we soon realized that it was possibly not safe to have me out on the streets that day. First, I dropped my waterbottle right onto the injured foot. Then, I got out of the car and the bottle jumped out of my bag and fell on my foot - again! Next, I tripped on the stairs going up to the cafe. At this point, my freediving buddies decided that they were going to put me on a safe looking chair and forbid me to move. Thinking I was in the clear, I reached out to pick up the beautiful looking Latte the waitress had put in front of me in a large glass, when Liv suddenly shouted NOOOOOOO... the glass had a crack from top to bottom, making it ready to explode in my hand and send me right back to see the nice doctor for more mind games. Attacked by monofins, waterbottles and coffees in one day! Clearly, the only safe place was my bed.

Since then, I have managed to spend the night without further accidents, and have also come to my senses a little bit, realizing that I cannot put my fin on for a few days. That means I will have to train one of my least favorite disciplines. Urgh.

New mantra: I love free immersion, I LOVE free immersion, I love it....

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