The next few days after I had my collarbone surgery I wasn't able to get long sleeping hours. I kept waking up every hour and staying in the bed for 15 minutes or so before I could sleep again. My mind was full of chaos, maybe from the anesthetic still in my blood flow. The second night after the surgery I woke up to this thought:
I don't want to Freedive again.
I had the accident while I was riding my bike. I never had an accident in the ocean and never had bad feelings about freediving at all. It was one of my greatest passions, so what happened?
Freediving is simply holding your breath and diving as deep as you can for as long as you can. It's really calming; the few seconds or minutes I spend underwater are the closest to meditation I could ever reach. It started as a hobby, then I thought of working on my technique and pushing myself to go deeper and stay longer so that I can enter competitions or become an instructor one day and teach others.
Nice as it feels, it's pretty dangerous. One thing everyone recommends is to know your limit and make sure you don't push too hard and risk a blackout. I used to think I was in control and well aware of my limits, but the accident made it clear that I was wrong.
Last year a great safety diver lost his life to the sport, a few years before; the female world champion died while doing an easy dive. Not that cyclists or bikers don't have accidents, but freediving is all about knowing when to turn back up; a big part of your safety is knowing when to bail.
The main reason of my accident was my own ego. I thought I was in control, but I've learnt that the moment you feel in control is when you're most vulnerable. Being confident is one thing but feeling in control is another. You should never believe you're in control or you will be risking a lot.
One month after the accident I started riding my bike again. I was actually looking forward to it, and the first road I biked on was where my accident happened. I just wanted to remove the fear once and for all.
It took me over two months to try and freedive, but I don't have that drive to go deeper and stay longer anymore. I just dive and enjoy the feeling for a few moments and head back up once I feel my first contraction.
I know I can, and probably will, have many accidents on the bike, but I can also have an accident walking in my living room. It's just fate, which is something I truly believe in. However, I don't want to hand full control over my body to my mind. I don't want to shut my instinct down completely and learn how to control it. That's mainly what freediving teaches you, to sink without fearing you'll drown.
Anyway, I'm still going to freedive for fun, I can't just give this up: