Don’t dive & drive …

Posted on September 21, 2011


but always dress & drive!

Always striving to satisfy my quest for learning new things, yesterday afternoon, I had my first encounter with freediving. My intrigue started a few months back when a magazine article on extraordinary adventure chicks featured both myself and Sara-Lise Haith, Dubai’s very own freediving diva. Sara-Lise, a like-minded adrenaline junkie, is as passionate about diving as I am about running which excited me no end and found me eager to give it a shot.

The prospect of diving without oxygen seemed a little like being told to jump out of a plane without a parachute but I repeatedly reminded myself that my life as a swimmer has blessed me with a hearty set of lungs. The prospect of head to toe rubber didn’t hold massive appeal either but once kitted out, we both looked hot to trot and reminiscent of the foxiest of Bond gals.

The entire experience was fascinating … learning how to dive-down, how to breathe, how to lower the heart rate and reduce the pulse.  It turns out that focus on the breath plays a key role in freediving hence the gorgeous Simone Green’s fabulous yoga class which she holds for fellow triathletes and freedivers.

There seems to be two great similarities between freediving and long-distance running … the need to be very self-aware and the ability to enter a state of euphoria, a high otherwise difficult to achieve in broad daylight in Dubai … or legally come to think of it.

I’m without doubt keen to try freediving again. It gives you the opportunity to experience the underwater world in the most natural way possible, the absence of cumbersome gear allows for a feeling of peace and serenity. Sara-Lise holds courses in conjunction with Al Boom Diving if you want to hit the deep blue yourself. Her website has stacks of great info.

I finished our session with a bang when within minutes of the beach, I managed to ram my car into the back of a great big Hummer, still dressed in nothing but my bikini.  Note to self:  don’t dive and drive but do dress to drive! A terrible fright combined with an exploded air bag, a dreadful burning smell followed by a race to vacate the car (still in said bikini) and several hours awaiting the police and then a recovery vehicle ensured I learnt not only about freediving yesterday but also about the importance of being mindful when driving.

Two pretty good lessons for a Tuesday afternoon!




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