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The leap of faith - Part 2 / Part 1

So back to the begining. Henning is lying there motionless in a bay in Sweden among the kelp – holding his breath - waisting his time – since this should be a dynamic dive – he should be swimming, shouldn´t he? And so after 50 seconds he starts and swims for slightly over a minute and reaches the distance 115, maybe 120 meters far out in the bay. What is his conclusion? Well he has done over 150 meters in a pool with warm-ups, ventilation and being warm., but still he is puzzled – how was it possible to do this under these circumstances. And can the two approaches merge. Can you get the benefit of Sebastiens findings and keep the goodies from the old ways.

Bear in mind – when you alter one factor in your preparations – something always happens in the other end. You gain something and loose something.

In the pool I myself try a hybrid way. I do no ventilation, I skip the suit, I welcome some chill in the limbs - but I refrain from the breath out part and fill my lungs as usuall. Take a breath, pack and do a small relaxing static before I start (15 seconds that feels like for ever) after that I swim 104 meters passing my PB with four meters. Muscles are wasted but my mind is clear.
Looking for the DR means that you are looking for anaerobic metabolism in the limbs – this is essential – you will not have enough oxygen for both the limbs and the brain. FRC diving with its components will make you lactic. If you push it you will reach the point where the muscle fails you. As Sebastien says; ”If you are comfortable – beware”.

But when you feel the stiffness coming – have faith - open your mind and continue.

From the other side of the world
Sebastiens family emigrated to Australia when he was ten. His origins are in Switzerland, his mothertongue is french. He has spent the last years in the sports and science faculty in a university. He has been freediving for ten years. ”I use to be a big inhale diver” he says. And yes he did do 200 meters dynamic. It was curiosity that made him start with exhales, of course looking for rolemodels in the animal kingdom. His first exhale dive reduced his performance to 60 meters in the pool.
He also claims that laziness brought him closer to the FRC techniques – ”I just couldnt bother carrying those weights”. And yes he has been down to 192 meters (NLT with a lot of packing). His FRC techniques has taken him to 78 meters in CNF and to 105 meters in VWT.
His NLT dives done outside Papua Guniea has a lovely simplicity to them. A 30 kilo weight around the feet (a loop he can twich out of) two thin safetylines to the surface attached to a drum (electric and manual). When he releases the weight the surface guy notices this and starts reeling him in with 3 meters a second.
"I have no patiens for beginners" he says, but shows a lot of patience with our questions that often repeat themselves.
On a murat course you will get more science than you can grasp – even if you are used to reading phd essays. Sebastien says that beginners can grasp his techniques, but I would say this: only come to a Murat clinic with a lot of ”watercalmness” in your body – the sea must be a place you truly like and feel comfortable with – only then can you add an element of stress. And also – come to this clinic with your mouthfill figured out. Two days with Murat will not only prove to you the benefits of FRC diving and its related components – it will teach you what you really have been doing all this years.
The knowledge is out there – you can start training yourself – but going to a Murat clinic will give you the last push in that leap of faith. The guy is inspiring. And during the course you will be able to prove to yourself what works best. Try any method and take a oxygen sample afterwards. It is well worth your money (its a cheap course).

Dont expect emediate results and don´t grab the bull by the horn and introduce too many things at once.

I put Murats theories to the test on the last day. I leave my usuall 5 mm suit at home and get into a 2mm shorty. We moor in the reknown swedish divesite "Gaseklavan" (60 up to 80 meters under the keel). I sit in the boat, do a few RV sucking breatholds of very short period. I get into the water – no fins. I skip my three minute deepbreathing. I skip my 30 packs and the lovely 1.5 litres I get to equalize with. I feel the chill of the scandinavian waters closing in on me. "The colder side of comfortable" Sebastien advices. I emerge my dry face once. My safety announces that no stinging jellyfish can be observed. I take one deep breath and go. Slowly - slower than I ever have done before. My 2 kilo neckweight helping me down – helping me to relax at this stage. I am of course tormented by breathing reflexes, I have to use all my skill in equalization. Its dark down there but I see the torch surpsisingly fast. At 48 meters I turn. An old PB of 46 meters done in the warm clear waters of Egypt is broken. It's a long way up. I get nervous when I feel my legs getting really stiff from the lactic acid. At this stage I do not remember Sebastiens words from his lecture; "If you come up from a maxdive with fresh muscles – then you should be really worried". If the hypoxia is not in the limbs – where is it then?
I see Alun George meeting me. I break the surface but keep holding my breath – I want to to do an O2 gassample from my exhale. A syringe is put in my mouth and I breath out – just this proceedure should really have caused me a BO – but I have a feeling of sharpness in my mind. 5.1 P02 left. "Youre good for another 3-4 meters", Sebastien says. And quite right – five days later in a competition I make a 51 meter dive CNF

It´s crazy – its shouldn´t be possible for me.

Epilogue
A few days after the course I am doing excursions with a group to the divesite. A fellow freediver has just finished tough PB to 43 meters with a 5mm suit and a monofin. I pick up his weight belt, six kilos of led. And holding that burden I think – shit – who would want to be at 43 meters with a compressed suit that has lost maybe 2-3 kilos in bouyancy, with compressed lungs that has lost maybe 6 kilos in bouyancy and with this six kilos of led pulling you down. Who would want to carry an anchor back to the surface?

That – my freediving friends is realy crazy.