Survival Apnea InsightsDec 02, 2022
BOOST YOUR WATERMANSHIP
THROUGH SURF SPECIFIC BREATHING & APNEA TRAINING
IMAGINE THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO...
There are 2 versions of you surfing a break on a challenging day. Both “yous”, “A” and “B”, are equally fit (physically) and have the same level of surfing. However, behave and react in very different ways, especially when feeling under stress.
At some point in the session “A” and “B” realize they are about to get caught by a solid set. Let’s assume they will get caught anyway and clearly there is nowhere to run. We could say they can’t control the situation, but still have a choice of how to react in the moment. Because of their habits of being, “A” and “B” will react differently.
The “A” version of you starts thinking how bad this situation could become, remembering his worst wipe out and expecting this to be worse. These thoughts of anticipation allow anxiety to creep into his body & mind, which speeds up his breath rate and makes “A” rush into the action of paddling for “his life” in a panicked state. As the wave approaches, “A” is unsure if to try to duck dive, or simply abandon ship. And in the last second takes a very rushed and shallow last breath, ditches his board and goes below the surface. As soon as getting caught by the powerful turbulence “A” starts fighting/swimming up in despair, completely conquered by panic. After a few (yet eternal) seconds, “A” breaks surface exhausted. Sadly, there is more to come. “A” feels helpless and defeated…
On the other hand, your “B” version reacts as follows: As soon as realizing the situation he is in, “B” makes the decision of paddling at a calmed pace towards the channel. Making sure to keep his breath rate down and repeating to himself everything will be OK. “B” is aware that slow and clamed breathing will help him remain calmed and focused. And that the constant repetition of the statement that he will be OK (repeated in short phrases) will block any form of anticipation and anxiety from taking control of his mind. He has already made the call to ditch his board when the time comes and to fill up his lungs with a good amount of air before going under. The moment comes, “B” gets off his board, takes a skillful last breath, ditches his board and goes under. Once below the surface, he keeps repeating to himself “all will be OK”, plus remains aware of the energy/turbulence around him. He waits in a state of calmness, not wasting valuable resources (O2 and energy) below the surface and as soon as noticing the energy of the wave dissipate, makes the call to swim back to surface with power and intention, but not panic! “B” breaks surface, he is tired, but in a much better state to deal with whatever is coming compared to “A”
Who would you rather be?
MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR OCEAN EXPERIENCE
DEVELOP OCEAN FITNESS & CONFIDENCE… BECOME OCEAN RESILIENT!
SURVIVAL APNEA shares Surfers’ & Freedivers’ insights to help you develop OCEAN RESILIENCE: becoming someone that will effectively endure, persevere, deal with the challenges that appear when facing obstacles at Sea.
ACQUIRE THE TRAITS OF A SOLID WATERMAN (WOMAN)
• Self-Awareness: increase your level of consciousness on the different energy states and thoughts going through your mind & body
• Self-Control: develop the skill to play with these energy states and thoughts to your advantage
• Mental Strength: build a mind that is harder to break, even in moments of intense discomfort (stress)
• Physical Toughness: learn how to tap into your full physicality
Our courses and programs use breathing and breath holding (apnea) exercises as tools to TRANSFORM you. Through their mastery (regular practice) you will learn:
• How to develop physical adaptations and the mental skill to remain calm & focused under extreme discomfort: to find tranquility in the middle of the storm
• How to be O2 and Energy smart when it matters
• How to improve your reactions (behaviors) to challenging situations: choose more empowering responses, by stepping into the space between stimulus and response
Think of yourself as a ship with 3 captains. They are constantly interacting with each other, can take turns to navigate the ship one at a time, or work as a team in any given moment. These captains are: your MIND, your BREATH and your BODY.
The better you understand them, the easier it will become to tap into the resources they offer. And the more you practice this in controlled environments, the better you will get at applying these skills in real life situations.
The practice begins with raising awareness on how mind, breath and body influence and interact with each other.
Some important things you might want to start paying attention to are:
• how breath rates and intensities affect your mind and the sensations experienced in your body.
• how paying attention to breathing rhythms will connect you to the moment, helping to avoid anticipation (anxiety) and opening a space of awareness that allows to pay closer attention to what is going on in the mind and body at any given moment.
THROUGH PRACTICE, YOU WILL LEARN TO CREATE AN INNER SPACE OF CALMNESS & FOCUS
Imagine you are surfing and get caught by a set of waves. You keep on paddling and duck diving which gets you breathless and fatigued. The way your mind starts to interpret the situation leads to thoughts of anticipation, which quickly open the door for anxiety to creep into your body, leading to a faster breath rate, unnecessary tension in the body and a choice of paddling speed/ intensity that will get you even more tired.
Before this escalades, you quickly do a mind/ body scan (self-awareness) and spot the “down spiral” you’re allowing yourself into. So quickly pull the hand break (metaphorically speaking):
In this self-analysis you realize that anxiety had accelerated your breath rate and your actions. So the smartest thing to do is push anxiety out of your system…
You must be wondering…
You will use 2 Captains: Breath and Body to get the ship (you) out of the mess your mind had suddenly gotten you into.
From the small space of calmness and focus you’ve created, you decide (self-control) to breathe with less intensity and progressively slow down your breathing rhythm. And parallel to this you release any unnecessary body tension and choose for a paddling speed which is enough to get you out of trouble, but won’t get you tired too fast.
Even though your body is tired and experiencing sensations of discomfort, you trust it can take it. That this is not a reason to feel defeated or broken (mental strength). Before you know it, the Ocean chills a bit and you get a window to fully recover and keep on surfing!
The above is an example of how selfawareness, self-control and mental strength allowed you to tap into your full physical toughness. Helping you avoid panic and preventing yourself from “burning” your resources (energy and oxygen) too quickly, which would put you in danger.
Applying the above in a real life situation isn’t easy. But with practice, anything is possible! You will get better and better and navigating through challenging scenarios. Also will become more familiar with the different energy states (emotions and sensations) that pass through your body at any given moment. And the more you practice, the better you will get at controlling and managing these energy states.
The whole point of this is to develop strong foundations of self-awareness and selfcontrol so you can then apply these same principles in all sorts of situations.
EVERY CHALLENGING SITUATION WILL HAVE ITS VERY PARTICULAR TRICKS TO REMAIN IN CONTROL OF YOURSELF
Imagine you are paddling for a solid wave, suddenly get caught at the top and start to come down with the falls. As you’re falling your mind starts thinking in the worst scenario and anticipating to how bad things could get… few moments later, anxiety creeps in! You hit the bottom of the wave and a very violent wipe out begins…
If anxiety is left unchecked, it could very quickly lead to panic.
As soon as you create a space of calmness and focus within you, you realize what is going on and decide to take control of yourself.
Very quickly you shift your attention to your face and release any tension you spotted there. As you know, the face has a lot of nerve endings, so by relaxing facial muscles you invite calmness in, which will remind the rest of the body & mind on what a “state of calmness” feels like. Before you know if, calmness starts spreading within.
Now you need to protect that state of calmness, by doing whatever you can to stay present and fully connected to the moment. For this you will rely on your surrounding environment. So when the time is right, you shift your attention to the sensations caused by the surrounding turbulent water. All you do for the next seconds is feel the water around you.
Once noticing that the power of water begins to dissipate, you decide it’s time to start swimming back to surface. Putting some power and intention behind your strokes, but not a single drop of desperation, you make it back to surface.
You are tired and a bit breathless, but feeling mentally strong and in control of yourself.
The constant application of the SURVIVAL APNEA INSIGHTS will help you build the habits of:
• Self-analysis (thoughts, emotions and breath rates)
• Self-awareness: notice how the above affect you
• Observation of your usual ways of reacting to different situations and scenarios of day to day life, in and out of the water: get familiar with the “space” between stimulus and response
• Spotting your strengths and weaknesses (of the above) so you can build/improve on them: polish your self-control.
AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, YOU’LL BE ABLE TO PERFORM AT YOUR BEST AND REMAIN CALM, EVEN WHEN YOUR BODY IS EXPERIENCING DISCOMFORT AND YOU FEEL UNDER PRESSURE!
The OCEAN RESILIENCE ACADEMY is a year long program designed to help you master the insights mentioned above. Don’t think twice and start for FREE...
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