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Mental block? Exhaustion ? Fears?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Namber Guan

New Member
Apr 25, 2024
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0
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Hi there everyone .

Im a Wave3 freediver , currently undergoing a breakdown full of frustration and doubts about the sport , and my place on it ...


I have been stuck on progress for weeks . In my Wave 1 I was able to do 25m CWT very comfortably . Months later , and already in Wave3 , Im stuck in the same levels ( 27/28m ) but with a huge increase in discomfort .

I don't enjoy my dives so much anymore , I go down stressed , I feel I'm going to run out of air constantly which didn't even happen in my Wave1 ) . I Equalize way worse , I relax way worse , I get way more frustrated after every session ...

Today has been a turning point . I prepared for my dive , went down , and started having contractions after 15 seconds. This is is the first time ever I experience this . I came up , completely astonished , did my recovery , took my time , relaxed , went down again and.... CONTRACTIONS again after 10 seconds. I was having contractions at 10m depth!

My STA is almost 4:30m , my DYN is 100m BiFins , and 75m for NoFins .

I am absolutely lost . I don't know what is going on, why am I getting more stressed now , why am I not enjoying anymore the sessions , why depth feels suddenly so incredibly uncomfortable .... And the last thing that got me devastated , why am I suddenly experiencing contractions after a 10seconds dive ?! Last session was just me floating in the boey devastated not knowing what to do .

Has anyone had any similar experiences? I just had to tell someone about it , hoping for a helping hand , and some advice in case someone went through a similar situation...

Thanks for reading .
 
Wow, that sounds really frustrating. :(
It seems quite extreme that you are fine doing 100m DYNB but become so anxious in some way and for some reason when going down the line even to ~10m.

One thing I'm wondering is if your instructor has given any suggestions what to do about it?

I can't claim to have any training as an instructor myself, but I think there are a couple of general points that do come to mind:
  • First of all, when something is no longer enjoyable then you probably should stop doing it - at least, don't continue doing it in quite that exact way. It's time to stop and do something else that's (at least a little) different.
  • Secondly, since you seem to be fine with DYNB, I'd suggest you try to narrow down and focus in on exactly what it is about going down a line that's causing the anxiety, i.e. what makes it feel so different compared with DYNB.
Those two points suggest to me that you could try experimenting with different situations that have certain aspects the same as going down the line, but with something changed to make it a bit (or even a lot) more like doing a (very comfortable) DYNB.

For example, maybe try setting up a line horizontally at some quite shallow depth (e.g. ~5-7m). Duck dive down to that line, and then head along it as if you're doing DYNB. But keep it short & comfortable - you're not trying to break your DYN records, you're just experimenting to find what remains comfortable, and under what precise circumstances things become uncomfortable. If you start to feel uncomfortable even during the duck dive down to 5m or so, then take even that part away too, by just doing a much less steep dive+swim down to the horizontal line (i.e. not doing a nice 'tidy' vertical duck-dive, but swimming down to it at a shallower angle).

Another example I think you could try (with a standard vertical line & buoy) would be slowly going down the line feet-first while holding onto it (so you're doing an upright FIM).
-Actually, that reminds me: do you have the same issue when doing standard FIM down the line (i.e. upside-down), or is it only for duck-dive and finning down the line (i.e. CWT)? If you don't do much FIM then I'd suggest you try it more, especially as a warm-up.

Here's another thing to try: how does it feel diving without a line? Just duck-dive and fin down a few metres, and check how that compares with using a line. If that's not so bad then perhaps try going on more fun-dives that are easy and fairly shallow (<10m) - so you're not thinking quite so much about following down a line from a buoy, but instead you're more 'distracted' by the scenery around you, etc. You will spend more of the underwater time finning along horizontally (as well as looking around), so it's somewhat more like DYNB where you feel comfortable.

In conclusion, then, if you can isolate much more specifically what it is about heading down a line (or even going down without a line) that leads to discomfort (is it being upside-down? having to equalise frequently? feeling of pressure? being in open water? or perhaps just salt water??) then you can start to work on that aspect again by taking it away almost completely, even changing the underlying circumstances completely (e.g. more fun-dives), so you stay much more comfortable during your dives, and then you can slowly add it back in again.

Anyway, I hope that gives you some ideas how you might try to diagnose this, and figure out what to do about it.

Good luck!
 
When was the last time you did pool work, statics, dynamics? ? Are you still doing it now? If not, maybe go back to that and see how that feels.
 
Hi there everyone .

Im a Wave3 freediver , currently undergoing a breakdown full of frustration and doubts about the sport , and my place on it ...


I have been stuck on progress for weeks . In my Wave 1 I was able to do 25m CWT very comfortably . Months later , and already in Wave3 , Im stuck in the same levels ( 27/28m ) but with a huge increase in discomfort .

I don't enjoy my dives so much anymore , I go down stressed , I feel I'm going to run out of air constantly which didn't even happen in my Wave1 ) . I Equalize way worse , I relax way worse , I get way more frustrated after every session ...

Today has been a turning point . I prepared for my dive , went down , and started having contractions after 15 seconds. This is is the first time ever I experience this . I came up , completely astonished , did my recovery , took my time , relaxed , went down again and.... CONTRACTIONS again after 10 seconds. I was having contractions at 10m depth!

My STA is almost 4:30m , my DYN is 100m BiFins , and 75m for NoFins .

I am absolutely lost . I don't know what is going on, why am I getting more stressed now , why am I not enjoying anymore the sessions , why depth feels suddenly so incredibly uncomfortable .... And the last thing that got me devastated , why am I suddenly experiencing contractions after a 10seconds dive ?! Last session was just me floating in the boey devastated not knowing what to do .

Has anyone had any similar experiences? I just had to tell someone about it , hoping for a helping hand , and some advice in case someone went through a similar situation...

Thanks for reading .
Hey there. Your story sounds familiar and I have helped other divers with similar issues before...though, usually, most people's issues may have different causes even if they present somewhat similarly. I am a certified freediving instructor and competitive dynamic diver. I would love to talk to you one on one, please contact me via Crucible Freediving, you will find me if you Google.
 
Why don't you try just diving for fun for awhile and not for competition. Relax, enjoy the experience, look at the beautiful fish, and corals and feel the ocean. Then, after some time, you may feel like you want to go back to the competition - but if not, still enjoy the diving.
 
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