|Are You Ready for Winter?|
December 6. 2011
Are You Ready for Winter?
by Mark Lozano
As winter approaches the sea conditions start to become less than ideal or desirable. What do we do then? FII Headquarters has started a wonderful winter training program, which we look forward to debuting here on the west coast next winter. However there are other options to winter if you cant make it to south Florida. Sitting around and gaining twenty pounds from all of the holiday food is not an option. No matter where you are there are ways to stay active. Personally I choose to head to altitude, where I teach snowboarding at Bear Mountain Resort in southern California. With winter storms slamming the west coast rather frequently during the winter, the opportunities for getting into the water are limited, therefore I chose to increase my hemoglobin percentage instead. There are other options however, surfing is a great way to stay wet during the cold months, however the surf is much larger than during the summer months, and should only be approached if you are comfortable with what you are going to be getting yourself into.
A great way to prepare yourself for the large swells produced by the northern hemisphere is to try out the new Waterman Survival course! Already I have received reports of amazing results. After the completion of the last course two of the graduates headed down to Todos Santos, a popular big wave spot in Baja, Mexico. While there they encountered twenty foot plus surf, one reported taking a bad wipeout and having to dive under twelve foot plus white wash and was held down for quite sometime. He let me know that because of the training he, "handled it like a boss!"
On the other hand, if neither of those options suits you and you insist on being in the ocean, one could head south and visit Chile or perhaps New Zealand or Australia, heck even South Africa! If exploring those regions doesn't cut it, there is always the FII favorite: The big island of Hawaii.
For those of us that cannot take the time to head away from home, your CO2 and O2 tables have probably been sitting and collecting dust since the third week after Level 2 when you gave up on them. Theres no better time than the present to start your tolerance training again, and do not forget the exercises that were introduced to you as well. If you did not know, FII released a stretching DVD last year, could make a great stocking stuffer, or gift to yourself. As we know, stretching is a vital part of freediving training.
There are endless options to shoo away the winter blues, think about what it is that you want to do and go for it. Until next time, dive safe and stay warm!