Some changes happen suddenly. Others come more slowly and natural, as if it’s meant to be all along. The ocean has always been part of my life, but in different ways. This might be my favourite way so far. I used to be a competitive freediver to see how deep I was able to freedive, but it almost made me lose my love for the ocean. Now I’m in the ocean without pressure, only for the love of being there and meeting the ocean’s inhabitants. Also, to be able to share this love and see the wonder in the eyes of others is even more amazing.
Freediving has many sides to it. It’s about you, your body and mindset. You will get to know yourself and trust your body in a new way. Freediving is a both inside and outside adventure. When you get out of the water you’ll have the feeling of that something big just happened. That feeling is addictive.
I have been teaching freediving for the last 10 years and it’s also been through a slow change. At first all the freediving teaching was based on competitive freediving so almost all the training was on a bouy and a line, and spending the rest of the time in a pool doing boring breathhold exercises. The students didn’t really have a say in the content of the course. Then, a few years ago I listened more and more to the students. Almost all of them wanted to be more comfortable underwater and be able to stay longer and enjoy animal encounters. Funnily, just what me and some co-instructors wanted! We also want to help the ocean. For all it’s given us, we want to give back. And the ocean is so much in need of our support. Just as if it’s meant to be, we are now doing both. Teaching freediving and supporting the I AM WATER ocean foundation. I’m super excited to see what we can do toghether, both for the sake of adventure and the ocean.
- Annelie Pompe, January 2017