To summarize the two dynamic dives in Riga I can say that I have done and will do better. Common to these two dives is that I felt I had lack of energy. This new experience is good to have with me before the Swedish Champinionships.
The boundary between being fully conscious, and being in a dream in a world beyond time and space never feels as narrow as when I compete in DYN.
DNF – 114 m – Yellow card
Usally my announcement is high reffering to my personal bests. I also like to play with the numbers when making announcement. For this competition my announcements were: STA: 5:17min, DNF: 117m, DYN: 177m. The lack of energy in my DNF-dive made me want to go to my annunced performance and not longer. I thought I did but my maths while performing was obviously not the best. “Half the length of the pool is 15 meters, hence I need only one more stroke to achieve my AP.” …I thought.
This was actually the first yellow card for me. The dive didn’t go as I expected but I learned some things on the way. One thing I learned: 25 divided in two is 12,5 (not 15…).
DYN – 181 m – White card
For some reason I was perhaps a bit overconfident when I last fall signed up for the contest and made my announcement. I put an AP to 177 meters. Which is quite high considering how many dives I have done over 177 meters. If I think carefully, it’s probably not more than two. I got to start last of all 51 athletes, men as women, alone in my heat. I’m confident on my 150 meters and 177 meters means just some more kicks. Since I started last, I had full control of what was required of me. I had it with me when OT approached.
OT was 11:47 and my nose went down below the surface a few seconds later. The water in the 50-metre pool was soft and comfortable, the kicks felt like a dream. The boundary between being fully conscious, here and now and being in a dream in a world beyond time and space never feels as narrow as when I compete in DYN. It is a feeling that is difficult to describe. I usually compare it to a circle which you can look at as having infinitely many edges or none at all. Infinity or zero. Total opposite but a hairline limit. The minutes during the performance are special. I spend several hours in the pool only for this and in a few minutes I’ll get everything out of them. I turned on the 50 and at 100 meters and felt that the location was under control. There would be no problem reaching my AP. At the turn of the 150 I had the last kicks to see a mark of 175 meters. There I knew that if I just slipped a few meters to I had it, my AP. 175 meter mark turned out. I kicked a few extra times. I went up. Surface protokoll OK. 181 meters. White card and a second place in DYN and the combination.
Be kind to your self, be kind to others.
Nicole Edensbo, 2019-02-21
The bigger competitions usually leave a large void when they are over. When I leave a place where my thoughts have been entirely devoted to freediving, it takes some time to readjust when coming home. This competition is no different. The experiences and impressions need to be absorbed and processed.
Three days when nothing is more important than the ability of performing complete relaxation and total body control…Where each action is conscious and preparatory to the forthcoming achievement.
Mentally still above the clouds
I am home in Gothenburg again. Physically I am home. Mentally, I have not let go of Riga. Not quite yet. Maybe I’m still in the air. Somewhere above the clouds where the sky is always clear. It is a reposition to come home. For more than three days I have only been breathing freediving. Three days when nothing is more important than the ability of performing complete relaxation and total body control, where the thoughts are clean and focused. Where each action is conscious and preparatory to the forthcoming achievement. Where the start of the performance is fixed within a lapse of time with the accuracy of seconds. This before the clock begins to tick and the body and mind challenged in a performance with no breath.
I am struck by the positive energy and the friendship that exists between athletes, judges, safety divers, photographers… well, all people involved in this arrangement. I have experienced other competitions so full of focus and concentration that it felt like the tence energy made the air vibrate. This competition has been the same but still different. The focus and concentration was there but the atmosphere so joyful. The joyful energy from familiar faces, calm voices and deep breaths spread like soft waves through air and water, like massage for the soul.
…there are so many devoted and qualified women involved in making this arrangement possible…
I have brought a happy feeling with me home to Sweden. In STA I did new PB, 6:27 minutes, 3rd place. In DYN my dive was 181 meters, 2nd place. In DNF I positioned in the 6th place. In total, I got the silver medal with 223.4 points. It was 53.5 points after the gold medalist amazing Agnieszka Kalska and 25.4 points before the bronze medalist lovely Beci Ryan. I got one bronze medal, two silver medals and gifts of various free diving equipment. Joy, inspiration and glow is what I bring with me to the next competition that awaits. The Swedish Championships 2019, 30-31 March in Uppsala.
The picture below is from the competition’s award ceremony.
Joy & Respect
This year Riga Freediving Cup was arranged for the 10th year in a row. The entire arrangement was, as last year, very well organized. For me, as an athlete, everything worked smoothly without any obstacles. These events don’t happen by themselves. There are several hours of planning behind this, probably more than one can imagine. The amazing organization payed attention to two athletes who was on the start list this year as well as the startlist ten years ago. Many athletes come again year after year. For me, this was the second time I participated and I’m already planning on being a part of this event again. I do find this event special in many ways. One thing that affects me more is the fact that there are so many devoted and qualified women involved in making this arrangement possible such as Yulia Maryevich and Irina Rainbow, Olga Zidorova, as well as our medic and devoted competitors such as Barbara Jeschke. This truly inspires me! Let us be in the front of the movement for equality, diversity, respect and tolerance for one another in every way.
Be kind to your self, be kind to others.
Nicole Edensbo, 2019-02-15