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Are You Ready for Winter?

 

markDecember 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.

12-6-11aA 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!

 

Mark Lozano

 
It's Contagious

 

markwOctober 28. 2011

It's Contagious

by Mark Wallerstein

The popularity of freediving is continuously growing and at a rather fast rate. It seems like more and more people are trying to find a buddy to be a safety on a float rather than throwing on a tank and going for a “regular” dive. To me, this is amazing. What gets an even bigger smile on my face is the fact that the people looking to go out are not just looking to spearfish anymore. I am seeing people interested in freediving for the marine interaction, training, or simply for a relaxing day. This means one thing and one thing only, the word is spreading.

10-28-11aFreediving is expanding into entire new markets. It was only a week ago that I was helping represent FII at surf expo. In only a period of three days freediving went from the odd cousin sitting in the corner to the new guy at the party where everyone wants to get to know you. Towards the end of the show surfers were coming over to us not only interested in our new Waterman Survival courses (see forums for more information) but also to simply give freediving a chance. They saw the benefits of understanding how to hold your breath if one was to be knocked off a wave and pulled under.

When I talk to people about the benefits of freediving I will often go quickly past the spear fishing aspect. I always start with safety issues because; when people get the freediving itch they can’t help but try even if they haven’t had proper training from a certified instructor, and move onto the health benefits or the marine interaction. It seems to draw in a larger crowd. It shows people that freediving is not only holding your breath and shooting a fish.10-28-11b Freediving has become a lifestyle and a lifestyle improvement. The shear fact that you learn how to breathe properly through a certified class is a step in health improvement. It is also unknown to many that the marine interaction is infinitely better while freediving compared to scuba diving. When freediving, the fish are curious about what you are and will come over to you. They start to feel that you are part of their natural environment and that there is no threat (unless of course you have spear guns, then you’re just a hungry part of the environment).

Above all else I feel the best way to share freediving is to actually have the experiences. I talk about the feeling of floating through the water on a single breath of air watching the sky slowly move past above me, I talk about the relaxation and the feeling of all the tension in my body drifting away with the current. So to all the readers out there, I urge you to do the same. Talk to your friends about your experiences and help those who are interested sign up for a course to become a safer diver. Who knows, maybe they can be that buddy on a day when you’re looking for a relaxing dive through the beautiful water.

 
External and Internal

 

catOctober 19. 2011

External and Internal

by Cat Fiztgerald

As we try to squeak every last iota of quantity out of ourselves we run into the realization, “I cannot stay who I am and be better. In order to improve I must change.” Internal and external; yin and yang; quantification and qualification; these seem to be dichotomies, mutually exclusive, but they are inclusive and dependant where we are concerned and the key to our change. Sometimes we find ourselves living too much in one world. There is usually a feeling of stagnation, frustration, feeling lost, or “searching,” when we are too one sided. That is a great time to start to look to the other side for a hint. In competitive venues things are quantified; how deep, how long, high, fast. We take the quantification of these as measurements of our success, since those are the goals. What do we do when we feel like we have squeezed every drop out of our system? We have to change it. In Freediving, you train your breathing, practice the art by diving, strength train for more powerful kicks. When we see decreasing returns on our quantifiable efforts it’s time to look at the other side; qualification. How does your body feel? Where is your tension? Where does your mind travel? There we learn to make the body more relaxed and demand less to create more room. If we are resilient, pliable, flexible and springy then we have an efficient system. It is by looking inside that we can then improve the outside (the clock, tape measure, etc). Do your Bladder Meridian (stress, anxiety associations) stretch again this month – it’s fantastic for the kicking; will save you effort and oxygen which translates to more underwater time (possibly more fish) and a quicker recovery time – and, going internal, try to be aware of what and how you feel.

In summation; want a better performance: look at your externals (clock, tape measure, etc), train, reexamine the externals, and, as you start to get diminishing returns for your training efforts look at your internals and create a new “You” to train.

Cat

 
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