Little did I know when I took a freediving course three years ago that learning to hold my breath underwater would change my life. A whole world that I never knew existed has opened up to me and now, I can’t get enough. Eat, sleep, dive, repeat. Here are four reasons why it’ll make you an apnea addict too.
Find your freediving family
The global freediving community is made special by its apnea-mad membership base, who are as devoted to each other as they are the sport. Europe has some of the best club scenes in the world. Active freedive centres who join together every week for training and to take regular trips abroad to meet and learn with other freediving groups.
Even when they’re not in the water, freedivers are happy to advise and support each other through freediving groups and forums. With so much time spent looking out for each other, it’s hardly surprising that such strong bonds will be made. It’s more than friendship, it’s family.
Awaken your spirit of adventure
The moment a freediver dips their fins into the water, they’re hooked. Just as a surfer chases after the perfect wave, so does a freediver chase down the most rewarding conditions. And, to each their own. For some it’s the thrill of cold-water diving that ignites their wanderlust, for others it’s the coral-delights of the Red Sea, while others prefer to freedive shipwrecks or to dive with seals and sharks off the Atlantic coast.
Exploring the underwater world becomes an unrelenting quest. Each adventure bigger and better than the last as confidence grows and you learn that a myriad of wildlife and underwater playgrounds awaits.
Become a marine eco-warrior
Photo Credit: Livio Fakaye
By submerging yourself in the marine world, you’ll soon find that you’ll do anything to protect your underwater home. Inspired by the incredible marine conservation initiatives led by freedivers, or the work of PADI AmbassaDivers, committing to things like ecotourism and plastic-free living will become a priority.
You’ll want to choose reputable marine tour operators, volunteer your time at a reef monitoring program or donate money to marine education to ensure healthy oceans for future holidays and to help protect marine environments for generations to come.
Discover your limitless potential
Unbridled by the limitations and perceived life-threatening danger put forth by scientists, freedivers, of all levels, thrive on the challenge of seeing what’s possible, of realising his or her potential and pushing the boundaries of the sport.
Visualising the impossible, believing it can be made possible and showing other people how it’s done are all hallmarks of a successful freediver. The thing is, once you’ve turned on your potential there’s no going back. With fear firmly put in its place and an awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll see other challenges as merely accomplishments you haven’t yet achieved and nothing will be off limits.