Many decades ago, long before the internet, and far away from any ocean where deep free diving people knew what they were doing, I did a little diving in a cold Wyoming lake.
At first, it was just snorkeling down and around a few meters. But going deeper, I experienced an effortless peace, a sense of oneness with the water. Just relaxing and going with the flow allowed me to stay motionless on the bottom with no real sense of urgency to breath.
This surprised and delighted me! So, not knowing any better, I experimented with ways to pack my lungs. Go deeper. Stay longer.
I thought it is a safe way to gain experience and gradually increased my limits.
There’s a big problem. It’s easy to confuse incremental risk with total risk. And when pushing one’s limits this way, they are easily reached. The results are often fatal.
Knowing what I do now, deep for me would just barely get a free divers feet wet. Yet, it’s a miracle I didn’t wind up dead.
Knowing these few facts, especially the “Big No’s”, would have increased the odds I’d survive.
But I didn’t know them. These kinds of resources just weren’t available 50 years ago.
I though I was prudent and slowly developing my skill. But actually I was just lucky, lucky.
Diving deep still attracts me. Since I’m near the ocean and free diving resources, I sometimes think about taking up that youthful challenge and going much deeper.
But 50 years later, I face another element. Not of depth and drowning, but of ageing. I’m probably too old, or out of shape, or too timid to dive deep. And I think I’m reluctant to confirm that. Or maybe I’m over compensating for the foolishness of my youth.
But either way, I’ll continue to fearless enjoy snorkelling, floating and just drifting around in the ocean like the last part of this video shows.
It truly is magical.
And even a fat, balding, overweight old man like me, can enjoy that. 🙂