The Mental Strength of Freedivers

The Mental Fortitude Behind Freediving

Free diving, an extreme sport in which an individual plunges to depths of sea without any breathing apparatus at all, is simply breathtaking. Legends such as Herbert Nitsch and Mirela Kardasevic have amazed the world by diving down to depths of over 200m and remaining submerged for several minutes. One seasoned freediver shared his take on the psychological side of it all on Reddit.

Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

In a Reddit thread on freediving stories, a skilled freediver weighed with some wisdom about the psychological aspects of freediving. He made clear that the real problem in freediving is when panic takes over at about 160 ft. Here, mental toughness comes into action. With freediving, it’s all about talking yourself into believing you can handle it, even when your mind is close to panic. He emphasized the mental toughness that it demands out of you in order to perfect this sport.

Conserving Energy and Air

The user also delved into the practical aspects of freediving. He shared insights on conserving energy and maintaining air intake, which is critical for a successful dive. He noted that a slow ascent is common in freediving in order to save energy and air. Since freedivers don’t breathe compressed air, they intake less nitrogen, reducing the risk of complications like decompression sickness. However, he cautioned against surfacing too quickly, as it can lead to problems with surface pressure gradients and oxygen balance, potentially causing loss of consciousness.

Safety First

Freediving is exhilarating, but it comes with risks. The Reddit user emphasized the importance of never freediving alone. He recounted a personal experience in which he found himself in trouble at a depth of 20 meters while photographing an octopus. Miraculously, the wind revived him at the surface, preventing a tragic outcome. This experience underscores the critical role of safety measures and the need for vigilant companions to ensure a safe return from the mesmerizing world of freediving.