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The social requirement of freediving has me locked out

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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jekseli

New Member
May 8, 2020
2
2
1
31
To cut a long story short, freediving clubs basically don't work for me. They don't go ocean diving enough and it's too expensive to do regularly.

Making a friend from a club has been difficult. I'm not very good at handling all the unwritten social rules. To be exact, I have mild aspberger's. I can exert effort for a few hours and you can't tell but after spending a day or 2 with me I will eventually say something socially inappropriate. In some social circles people don't care but in others people do and it makes a difference.
In freediving culture the clubs can be both quite cliquey and also silently judgemental due to safety. With a lot of effort I can get past one of those issues but not both of them for extended amounts of time.

So perhaps I can persuade someone I already know to try freediving? Problem is, they're all afraid of diving!

So,

1) What are the unwritten social rules in your club?

2) How do you persuade someone to try freediving?
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
595
179
148
66
I'm sorry you have to go through this. If you lived near me I would include you in my diving activities. Cliquiness is a problem in all social groups, not just diving. And as you say, no one you invite is really interested in diving - welcome to the lonely world of freediving! Very few of us have a reliable freedive buddy. If I could I would pool practice 3 times a week if I had a reliable buddy. But the two guys I know live 25 miles away and are not really interested in pool practice - they just want to do the quarry dives. How do you presuade someone to freedive?- I have invited many people many times and never got anyone interested. Many people view it as dangerous and even a bit weird. Also, every few months I will get a message here on Deeprblue from someone new to my area wanting to find a freedive "club". I invite them to practice with me, but no, it has to be "club". Anyway, lots of us feel your pain. Hang in there.
 

Andrew Fogarty

Active Member
May 17, 2016
63
40
33
52
JC. Ask yourself what you are looking for when you have the urge to dive. I cycled today and almost got cleaned up by a txting driver. There's way more dangerous pastimes than diving. I dive alone most of the time but am significantly more cautious than diving with even with a novice I don't know. If I need to save someone its most likely not going to be me. Be informed, be virulent but be diving. Don't let the humans put you out of your comfort zone.
 

cloudwalker_3

Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2006
21
5
93
... I'm not very good at handling all the unwritten social rules. To be exact, I have mild aspberger's. I can exert effort for a few hours and you can't tell but after spending a day or 2 with me I will eventually say something socially inappropriate. In some social circles people don't care but in others people do and it makes a difference ...

Your post particularly resonated with me because I'm also on the autistic spectrum for what it's worth (I have dyslexia, dyscalculia [great for decompression tables and all that!] dyspraxia, some sensory processing disorder and a touch of Asperger's syndrome too).

I also find the way that people have all these unwritten rules that everyone is supposed to 'know' perplexing and sometimes impossible to navigate. The judgemental thing is something that I've found hard all my life and it has definitely affected how I mix with others.

I suspect that you, like me, might be in a similar position insofar as, because I'm articulate, intelligent and personable people just don't 'get' that my brain works very differently to theirs and that my sensory perception is very different to theirs.

My brain is very visually driven and because I work as a graphic designer and photographer, I now see my disabilities as an absolute asset rather than a hindrance. I have a sometimes phenomenal level of attention to detail and this is definitely a huge advantage to me in everyday life.

I'm comfortable with my disabilities now but it has taken me a long while to get here.

So my threepence worth of advice to you jekseli would be, hang in there and remember it's not you, it's them.

Last year The National Autistic Society posted a video to YouTube showing how a child with Autism might perceive a walk through a shopping centre and how this experience might be different from a non-disabled person's experience. It particularly resonates with me because I have a 10-year-old son with high functioning Autism and in many respects, this video covers things that he experiences on a daily basis.

It's well worth a look if you're not on the spectrum (and maybe even if you are):



Another major factor that has held me back from joining a club is the fact that I'm negatively buoyant.

The only other (major) issue for me in getting involved in clubs up to this point has been the whole buoyancy thing - I'm negative so treading water, without a wetsuit, is very, very hard for me. I'm really comfortable under the surface but most clubs seem to want people who float rather than sink - and the irony of this, to me at least, is fairly exquisite.

I posted about this way back in 2016 but I've never solved it, London clubs still feel very inaccessible to me, but I'm only mentioning it here in case things have changed.

I'm still based in Hackney in east London (The Richmond session [which seems to be the main London club thing] is just way too far away for me to get to easily after work, and being a father of a young child makes my time-pressured as it is).

At the moment when I do get a chance to train (infrequently) I do so on my own in the local pool. I know this isn't good from a safety perspective, but like Leander above, I find being underwater incredibly peaceful and calming.

If anyone is up for trying to get an east/north-east London club together, that's tolerant of disabilities and/or negative buoyancy,I'd be interested in being involved.
 

DiverHowie

New Member
May 12, 2020
3
6
1
81
I really wouldn't concern myself with the social aspect of freediving if I were you. We don't freedive for the social interaction it may provide. And freediving solo is perfectly ok if extra care is taken. This necessarily includes fitness training... which itself needent involve social interaction. I myself enjoy social interaction- but I don't NEED it. I freedive solo because I like the purity of it - it's just me and the ocean - and the joy of being connected with nature's great beauty in a solitary way. Anyone else being with me would be an intrusion. I am not bad-mouthing buddy freediving... it's fine for those who enjoy it and seek it out
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,006
779
218
71
" I now see my disabilities as an absolute asset rather than a hindrance" Cloudwalker_3. AMEN times 10!

I have a good touch of Attention Deficit, which makes for the same (if less severe) social problems. it also gives me the focus to be excellent at what I do and to be a better diver. Like the man said, "hang in there" and "its them not you". You are not alone, at least one on the greats in freediving sure acts like he has Aspbergers.

None of the above solves your problem or makes it easier. Diving alone, while dangerous, is probably your best option until you can find a good buddy. If you haven't already, take a course.
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
595
179
148
66
@Andrew - I fully understand what you are saying. I know exactly why I like freediving - the feelings you get breath holding, and the challenge, the peacefullness of the underwater world. I do practice alone 97% of the time. I scare the lifeguards with my long breath holds on the bottom. My problem is that I want to improve, keep setting new goals and then meeting them. But I can't do that without a spotter. If freediving were 100% safe I would for sure be practicing alone 100% of the time.
 

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
400
221
58
37
We're now all opening up about our disorders? :)

I can't say about me as I have never been officially diagnosed with anything, but for sure I got quite a package as well. I don't want to be diagnosed with anything either as that would only list it as a bug, not a feature.

Like Cloudwalker said, it's not you, it's them. I see it as a bunch of colourful folks in a world filled with grey zombies. And I'm sure a lot of, if not most, freedivers have something going on. Same for climbers and the travellers who haven't been back home in years. Perhaps this is a reason why you find these strong etiquettes. It's just a bunch of crazies who are trying their hardest not to show anything.
 
Jul 11, 2019
11
3
8
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Unfortunately, as almost every social activity, there are some people who care about superficial things. I have train with at least 3 freediving schools, my recommendation to you is try changing school or club till you find one you can go for a long time, that way you can make friends and go diving with them. I do not now much about asperger o autism, but if you enter a new school I think it would be good idea to tell that to your freediving instructor.
 

WilYo

Member
Jun 11, 2017
1
0
11
33
To cut a long story short, freediving clubs basically don't work for me. They don't go ocean diving enough and it's too expensive to do regularly.

Making a friend from a club has been difficult. I'm not very good at handling all the unwritten social rules. To be exact, I have mild aspberger's. I can exert effort for a few hours and you can't tell but after spending a day or 2 with me I will eventually say something socially inappropriate. In some social circles people don't care but in others people do and it makes a difference.
In freediving culture the clubs can be both quite cliquey and also silently judgemental due to safety. With a lot of effort I can get past one of those issues but not both of them for extended amounts of time.

So perhaps I can persuade someone I already know to try freediving? Problem is, they're all afraid of diving!

So,

1) What are the unwritten social rules in your club?

2) How do you persuade someone to try freediving?

Reading your story, I remember my early freedive journey. Its difficult to find people to train too. There is club but they are more interested on socializing. Sometimes I found myself had a hard time in socializing too. Fortunately, I found a couple of friends who like to train, so we train regularly and invite others to join our training. Then we make our own club. At first, usually only 2 people who come at the training. Sometimes people only come once. But some stays and train more often.

Yes you can persuade someone you already now. What I did is I train so I'm very confident in my skill in the water and I write what I did. So I can share with other people who want to join. Some of the people I ask is afraid and have traumatic experience with water, it takes time for them to feel safe in the water, but once they do, they will feel like they gain a superpower :cool: . Just make them feel safe, train with them in shallow water, always watch them, tell them how to be a buddy so you can train too.

1) What are the unwritten social rules in your club?
I think its the same with other social group at first the group organizer will welcome and try to get you into the group, then you have to actively include yourself in their activity. If you have condition, maybe you can keep staying and show that you mean no harm, it will take time and effort, but I think people will understand. You can offer to help people in the club too, like offering to be a buddy.

2) How do you persuade someone to try freediving?
Just share some aspects of freedive that you really like. And see how they respond, if they curious, you can go from there. In my place, when you go to the pool or beach with long fin, people will be curious with what you do.

Hope you find your way!
 

HLanger1955

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2013
110
20
58
I think joining a club is very good for learning and training, but for a major part of time we're quite alone. Interests are different, for instance loook at pool sessions. Too many people in a lane are not that funny, so I have to go to the pool in the late hours of the day. Sometimes I go for a short time during lunch break, but (sob..) alone (recreational dives only). Max attempts ? Not alone, but difficult to organize. I'm afraid we will remain quite an individual sport. I try to enjoy anyway, down in the sea chatting to others is difficult :)
 

buriedmirror

Well-Known Member
Jan 30, 2005
4
0
86
Where do you live? I ask because in most places, there isn't enough of a critical mass to dive or even do pool training regularly, even if you are more social / neurotypical. I live in San Francisco/Monterey area, where the ocean is beautiful but cold. Ten years ago it was almost impossible to get a buddy for diving any particular weekend, now it is still not easy (except for spearfishing).
My suggestion is to sign up at a school that has training outside of classes. In SE Asia, there are several schools that will charge you $300-800 for unlimited training in a month, including an instructor as your designated safety. As a paying customer you don't need to make friends or be social-- you just have to be within the bounds of decent and legality.
 

Retto

Member
Apr 18, 2019
13
7
18
Honestly, freediving has been around since ancient times for things like hunting and fishing. It’s only recently that “rules” have been added. I’ve been freediving since I was around 5, but I didn’t even know “freediving” was a thing till I was around 18. If you’re going with people, great. But if not, make sure you know your limits, then don’t even get close to that line while alone. You can still enjoy yourself without pushing your limits to the max. Being in the water is between you and the water. Nobody Has the right to tell you otherwise. Just know there are more risks while alone and act accordingly.
 

Jofish

Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2009
30
6
98
What a refreshing thread!
Really enlightening to read that you're out there and be assured that you are definitely not alone.
I can't comment on club cliques or ethos because I've never subjected myself to one!
The only thing I disagree with on this thread is the language and use of the word 'disability' - we live in a world that makes us feel we need to conform to societal 'norms' but to do so requires conscious effort to act unnaturally?! That isn't right - these are differences, not disabilities and have huge advantages that should be celebrated...
In my opinion you dive for the right reasons - I would say that I love diving but hate 'divers' if that makes sense? Those cliques are probably full of people that like to tell people that they are freedivers, that like to wear freediving t shirts with natty slogans and just try too hard to fulfill their desired image!
Like you, I just freedive for the pure escapism and silence, to get away from those people!
Just be safe - if you want to push your limits and abilities then do so safely with appropriate safety cover - but to experience the simple joy of being underwater you don't need a club!
 

Nickmhorne

Member
Jan 15, 2017
12
4
18
38
Your post particularly resonated with me because I'm also on the autistic spectrum for what it's worth (I have dyslexia, dyscalculia [great for decompression tables and all that!] dyspraxia, some sensory processing disorder and a touch of Asperger's syndrome too).

I also find the way that people have all these unwritten rules that everyone is supposed to 'know' perplexing and sometimes impossible to navigate. The judgemental thing is something that I've found hard all my life and it has definitely affected how I mix with others.

I suspect that you, like me, might be in a similar position insofar as, because I'm articulate, intelligent and personable people just don't 'get' that my brain works very differently to theirs and that my sensory perception is very different to theirs.

My brain is very visually driven and because I work as a graphic designer and photographer, I now see my disabilities as an absolute asset rather than a hindrance. I have a sometimes phenomenal level of attention to detail and this is definitely a huge advantage to me in everyday life.

I'm comfortable with my disabilities now but it has taken me a long while to get here.

So my threepence worth of advice to you jekseli would be, hang in there and remember it's not you, it's them.

Last year The National Autistic Society posted a video to YouTube showing how a child with Autism might perceive a walk through a shopping centre and how this experience might be different from a non-disabled person's experience. It particularly resonates with me because I have a 10-year-old son with high functioning Autism and in many respects, this video covers things that he experiences on a daily basis.

It's well worth a look if you're not on the spectrum (and maybe even if you are):



Another major factor that has held me back from joining a club is the fact that I'm negatively buoyant.

The only other (major) issue for me in getting involved in clubs up to this point has been the whole buoyancy thing - I'm negative so treading water, without a wetsuit, is very, very hard for me. I'm really comfortable under the surface but most clubs seem to want people who float rather than sink - and the irony of this, to me at least, is fairly exquisite.

I posted about this way back in 2016 but I've never solved it, London clubs still feel very inaccessible to me, but I'm only mentioning it here in case things have changed.

I'm still based in Hackney in east London (The Richmond session [which seems to be the main London club thing] is just way too far away for me to get to easily after work, and being a father of a young child makes my time-pressured as it is).

At the moment when I do get a chance to train (infrequently) I do so on my own in the local pool. I know this isn't good from a safety perspective, but like Leander above, I find being underwater incredibly peaceful and calming.

If anyone is up for trying to get an east/north-east London club together, that's tolerant of disabilities and/or negative buoyancy,I'd be interested in being involved.


''I'm comfortable with my disabilities now but it has taken me a long while to get here. ''

Having these differences in perception, thinking and problem solving is not in any way, shape or form a disability. All those people that have made a significant difference to the world: Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, John Lennon, Tim Burton, Charles Darwin, Bill Gates, Thomas Jefferson , Steve Jobs, Michelangelo, Motzart! .. those people who really stood out.. yep..all had perceptual/cognitive differences such as Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD, Discalculia etc.. We need this these differences and I am so glad we have people in this world that do things in a different way. Normal takes you nowhere.
 

cloudwalker_3

Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2006
21
5
93
I can see that some people are struggling with me describing how I am (and in effect others too) as disabled. I also recognise that this is coming from a very good place and is not based on prejudice at all but an openness and acceptance of personal differences.

The reason I describe myself as disabled is not because there is something 'wrong' with me or because I am somehow 'broken' but because I tend to use the 'social model' to describe disability.

If you're not disabled and/or a disabled activist you may not have come across this concept before so here's some information (offered up in a genuinely non-patronising [because the interweb strips all nuance out of text] and friendly way):

The social model of disability is basically a way of viewing the world that was developed by disabled people. It was developed to counter the medical model of disability.

The medical model says a person is disabled because there is something broken and/or wrong with them. This locates the issue with the individual rather than is the way society is designed and functions.

The social model says that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference.

Societal barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets, or they can be caused by people's attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can't do certain things.

The social model helps people to recognise barriers that make life harder for disabled people. Removing these barriers creates equality and offers disabled people more independence, choice and control.

Not everyone uses the social model to describe disability and that’s okay. How anyone chooses to talk about their own impairment is up to them.

I hope that clarifies things!

There's a really good short film (2mins 59sec) on the social model on the Scope website that is worth a watch: https://www.scope.org.uk/about-us/social-model-of-disability
 
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Sorandril

Member
Jun 13, 2020
111
16
23
40
We have enhanced HIF function, if you havent noticed already.

Rumors have it there used to be a lot more like us populating Ireland before some deranged iron wielding maniacs came along. :p
 
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