The story below is the freediving story of my first 18 months while entering the world of competitive freediving. In the text I also chose to share some of my general thoughts that have grown through my freediving experience.
Love for the fourth element
I grew up in a big family in Sweden, all of us with a mutual love for the water. My childhood memories are mainly related to happy moments by rivers, lakes or even at the pool or at sea. Most of my weekends and holidays were head underwater as I always preferred to stay below the surface, going deep and being a part of the water. It was my playground, where I felt relaxed and always naturally safe. I guess, my life as a freediver started as a child with the true love for being surrounded by the water, the fourth element.
Introduced to freediving
In the autumn of 2016, I started with freediving, after many years of running and working out at the gym, I wanted to do something different. In 2016, I found a freediving club in Gothenburg and started to train pool freediving. Since I had been doing other competitive sports and performed on a stage during almost all my childhood and teenage years I was used to the situation of competitions and handling the nerves before and during a performance. I joined some competitions, I was quite good at it even as a beginner and I really liked it.
Photos by: Elin Larsgren
Passion & Results
Freediving is a single person sport but still you need a buddy to be there for you. For me freediving is about trust, trusting yourself and trusting your buddy. I was lucky to find that buddy. During the winter of 2016 and spring of 2017 my training became more serious. From the start my buddy believed in my capacity and understood my needs. Through the buddy relation I found a freediving friend who lifted me in the way I needed to be lifted and grounded when I needed to slow down. I am very good at pushing myself and don’t need someone to push me. So, our personalities worked well together, we were balanced, and both of our results improved through the understanding of each other’s needs and our passion for freediving.
…I broke the Swedish national record in DYN twice with 206 and 210 meters….I realized I had become an elite freediver…
We joined many competitions, both national and international. My progress was good, and the results improved fast. In the Swedish Championship in Pool Freediving 2018 I placed first in all three disciplines and hence my first overall victory in the nationals. In the following AIDA Word Championship in Pool Freediving in June 2018 I broke the Swedish national record in DYN twice with 206 and 210 meters. This happend in less than 18 months of dedication. I realized I had become an elite freediver.
I happen to be the kind of person that is satisfied with neither good or better. I always want to be the best of myself. This approach leads to very good results, but it also has a backside. It is easy to break down in success or on the way to this objective. This is when it is important to remember that passion must come from within and not from the obsession of achieving external results. Expectations from yourself and people around can easily turn a harmonious passion to something destructive.
The line between harmonious passion and obsessive passion is not always clear…is important to do be responsive and aware.
To achieve good results, focus must be on the process and not the result itself. With that way of thinking there is nothing called failure, only lessons learned. It has been a challenge to keep it on a balanced level since freediving is a passion for me and at the same time it had led to great external results. The line between harmonious passion and obsessive passion is not always clear. When entering a world with focus on results it is important to do be responsive and aware.
Thoughts through freediving
Freediving has led me to evolve both physically and mentally on a level that I couldn’t even imagine before I started. The references for what are hassles have been moved through my experiences and achievements within freediving. It is extremely exciting to explore and get to know myself deeper on the mental level and find the connections to the physical performance as I do through freediving. I reflect a lot about mindset and mental and physical health. Through my experiences I see parallels between freediving and life itself. I want to be present and aware, take the time I need for reflection and recovery. Through freediving I learn how to approach life itself, to be in the present moment, here and now through the act of awarenss. Freediving has become my lifestyle: A lifestyle that starts with being kind to myself.
Be kind to your self, be kind to others.
Nicole Edensbo, 2019-10-18