This year has been all about diving without a lot of pressure and to do some much needed work. It takes time to develop new skills, and counting the days until you want to set a record or do well in an event is not helpful for the one step forward/ten steps back aspect of this kind of journey.

The last months have been fairly free of pressure, but to finish the season I thought I'd put the new found nose clip diving to good use and return to a discipline which I have ignored completely since setting a German record with 40m in 2008: constant weight no fins. It was always my hardest depth discipline, and since it is the shallowest and I just love diving as deep as possible, also the one I was least interested in improving. Being not a naturally good swimmer didn't help and so while I moved ahead across the board in all other disciplines, this one was left untouched. For a brief moment, from the safety of my sofa back home, it felt like a good idea to finally do something about that and turn up for the Freediving World competition without my monofin. The first training dive took me to 30m, with contractions starting pretty much after the duck dive. Back on the surface, I thought to myself: I am not doing this shit again. Ever. Next day I went to 40m and cursed some more.

With training time being kind of short - just a little over a week - the secret at the moment is acceptance. I can't change a lot or spend much time on fine tuning, and just have to be mentally ok with what is coming up. Yes the way down won't feel beautiful, but it doesn't mean I can't swim up easily enough. I'm kind of enjoying the novelty of it and finding my way, and seeing that all the training of the last years ultimately translates into this, as well. Sometimes it's interesting to do exactly the things you're certain
you are no good at, because that's where surprises might just await.

Just doing what comes easy would be too simple. At least that's what I try telling myself. Until I am cursing that stupid idea all the way down tomorrow, that is!


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