Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Taste it!

It's five o'clock in the morning, Stansted airport, London. Halfway back to Stockholm on a marathon trip that will eventually Friday midday land me back in Cape Town.

Last thing I told you was that I almost burst my eardrum, and then I disappeared... So much has happened these last two weeks, so many lessons learnt. (And yes, my ear is fine, by the way, thanks for all who wondered.)

Competitive Freediving.
Taste those two words in your mouth. Roll them around on your tongue like a good wine. Close your eyes and succumb to the flavour.
What do you think?
Sweet? Bitter? A contradiction? A challenge? Salty..?

Well, for me it goes from sweet to bitter to pure I-need-to-puke-dash-to-a toilet right now and pass the water bottle, please! My training was sweet and then slippped unbeknown to me into something else, and suddenly there I was, swimming around the Blue Hole, a bitter taste in my mouth, crying into my mask. It was a really tough decision not to go for the records I had announced, especially as my training had taken me to my goals and beyond... but ah, when you lose the joy, when the taste is bitter?

Freediving for me is more than a sport, more than achievements, more than meters, seconds. Losing that love- happiness was not worth it, it never will be. So as I swam around the hole, sobbing into my mask (yes, it is possible, just very snotty!) I decided to back off, and wait. As Linda says (in her accentuated and adored Italian accent) 'You can't force it, let the depth come to you, it will- but not when you're pushing for it'.

And since then I've had a wonderful time in Dahab, coaching, teaching courses, organising, judging Bizzy Blue Hole and applauding all my friends achieving their dives.

At peace, in joy and with a sweet taste in my mouth I say goodbye to Dahab, for now.

...and Depth, when you're ready, you know where to find me.


  1. I'm glad you didn't push yourself for such 'shallow' rewards like meters and seconds; if it doesn't feel like it's worth it, it usually isn't.
    Then again, I get a bitter taste when I think of "competitive" anything. It's just not something I could ever get into - and when I've tried I've always been left feeling hollow and sad.

  2. Interesting story of ups and downs, though it hard to grasp when an experienced diver like you reach your goals in training why it didn't work to simply repeat in the comp? Did your body suffer from a illness? Nerves? Or just the drip of tension releasing other dormant tensions?

    Hope you recover well and reach your goals at our beloved Nordic Deep.

    Personally I have some tough things to work on, I hope to get it out of the way in time.

    Take care Hanli Prinsloo


    I think I'm going to try the crying thing underwater tomorrow in a green 9c water lake.

  3. I must be tired mixing expressions up, forgetting writing down words.. And poor formulations.

    - A story of ups and downs, though I've seen you a strong lady it's touching to see you struggle repeating something you've done. Did your body suffer from a illness, Nerves? Or was it just one drip that made bucket spill, releasing other dormant tensions?

    Ok, maybe the song I'm listening to now "shine on Crazy Diamond" is a fitting tune to take to bed with me, Ciao.

  4. amazing to let go and be happy rather than push and be hurt.
    you are a shining example of real living!
    Yay Hanli!

  5. The most important thing, is to find out what´s most important...

    I admire your gutts to take that decission after announcing the recordattempts... A chicken freediver would´nt have dared to cancel that.

    Congratulations on your progress, your good time in Dahab and your big hairy balls!

  6. Thanks for the support.
    I'm happy with my decision, but not sure what the future will hold, but will keep you posted!
    Happy diving... and love