Adventure sports are just amazing!

First, they take you from your comfort zone, and then, they become your comfort zone. Setting you free from whatever’s cluttering your mind. For the real enthusiast, it’s a life changer. You start planning your vacations, your diet and your daily routine, always with this passion in mind.

For the non-adventurist it might be seen as an addiction.
They tell me to “just get a life”!
I ask myself what that means… A statement that gets thrown around so often.
I’m not saying that I do have a definition for you, but one thing I can say about my life….
I like to live it!

My “addiction” is a healthy one! I have benefitted from it ten fold, both mentally and physically. Whether it is white water kayaking, rock climbing, spear fishing or my latest addiction freediving. They all take me to the same place. A place where I am free, where I am happy and where nothing else matters. A place where time slows down and one goes into a totally focused state of mind. It’s like one is actively meditating at times.

“The ninja mode”
I like to refer to this state of focus as “the ninja mode”.
Adrenalin seekers often find themselves here. The first time I consciously experienced “the ninja mode”, was while white water kayaking. When you are running that big ass rapid, and the only thing that matters, is your next paddle stroke. You get to the bottom of that big rapid, and only remember flashes of what happened. Only when watching footage afterwards, do you realize you nailed every stroke like the ninja you are!

It doesn’t seem possible that white water kayaking and freediving can put you in the same “ninja mode”. The one, with RAW adrenalin pumping through your veins, and the other with RAW relaxation. Just look at the difference….

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RAW adrenalin pumping through your veins like venom.

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RAW relaxation surrendering to the silence.

 

In a well-trained athlete of any adventure sport, this is a state of complete control. The media and journalists often don’t quite get it. We don’t just jump in head first, taking huge risks like they tell the world. It’s starting at the bottom, slowly climbing the ladder until we are confident in our abilities. It’s all planned carefully taking every risk into account. The variables are reduced. It’s just you and Mother Nature doing the ChaCha.

This state of awareness is why I do adventure sports.

A few months ago, I started freediving. While freediving I have experienced the next level of “the ninja mode”, A level where you need to surrender to the pressure, staying in complete control, while letting go. I have developed such an intense passion for freediving and everything about it. I just want to spread my love of freediving all over the world. It’s one of the big reasons I am happy to be part of RAW Adrenalin, as I can reach adventure seekers like myself.

 

 

Freediving – What it is really all about?
Freediving is diving on one breath; Unlike scuba diving there is no use of breathing apparatus that supplies you with oxygen. You rely on the tanks in your chest and your body’s natural ability to deal with the effects of breath holding. We can distinguish between two very different types of modern freediving.

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Richard Wonka checking out the sea life. Bounty wreck Gili Islands. Photo by MJ Kühn


Extreme Freediving
– This is what most people think of when they hear the term Freediving. People diving to their limits, often coming up very low on oxygen and sometimes they end up blacking out. These freedivers are professional athletes; their entire lives revolve around freediving. They eat, sleep and poop freediving. For them to accomplish “these super hero”- like feats, their bodies need to be fine tuned machines both mentally and physically. I am in awe of their supreme abilities.

It’s not surprising that Freediving is considered, the second most dangerous sport in the world after BASE-jumping. Of course I could bulge out my chest like a gorilla at the bar and brag about how dangerous my hobby is. But this would be a lie and I am no liar. Freediving is misunderstood; the media who is only interested in death and misfortune has sensationalized it for years. Reporters writing articles about freediving, never fail to mention how insane and dangerous it is. The truth is that these people have very little knowledge about freediving. What they do know often gets taken out of context. They focus on the worst possible outcome, giving this beautiful sport a terrifying air to it.

Recreational Freediving- This is where everyone starts their journey as a freediver. You learn what happens in your body, when holding your breath. A whole new world opens up once you understand this. From here you progress slowly, only going deeper once you are comfortable.
Recreational freediving is growing in popularity, within a year five schools have popped up on Gili Air, a tiny island in Indonesia.
There are some great schools out there, but don’t get fooled by schools who offer courses where you go deep really quickly. To become a safe and competent freediver it’s all about technique. The smoother the technique the more efficient you become. We want to burn minimal energy and oxygen while covering maximum distance. If you are properly trained the risk is extremely low.

I have had far more injuries rock climbing, white water kayaking and even walking down the street.

Putting Extreme Freediving and Recreational Freediving in the same box is like, comparing floating in flat water with running a grade 5 rapid.

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“Recreational freediving” floating in flat water.

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“Extreme freediving” Dylan Thompson running one of the more intimidating rapids on the Namarone river in Madagascar. Photo by Jared Mulligun

             What makes it different from other adventure sports?

I have been involved in quite a few adventure sports, and one thing they all have in common is that there are fundamental skills, which you need to learn. Often some of these skills feel quite unnatural in the beginning, but with practice and repetition your body starts to develop memory of what needs to happen. Eventually you can roll your kayak in any direction, without even thinking about it, or duck dive with minimal effort. It’s like putting a chicken in a slow cooker; just like the RAW meat gets cooked, with repetition you develop these skills.

In Freediving there are certain things you need to learn through practice and repetition as well. Duck dives, turns, finning, body positioning etc.

BUT!
And this is where I had my holy freakin moly moment…
Freedivings RAW chicken…
Physiological adaptations, which each and every one of us possess.
Thanks to evolution, or maybe grand design.

 

In my next post: Freediving is RAW.
We will explore the RAW chicken a little further…
Proof that we were built with “freediving” in mind.

Have fun out there fellow ninja’s…

Written by: MJ Kühn
26/05/2016

 

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