Tag Archives: Mental

Need A Push

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Another good training done and while the physical training is going pretty well, I noticed while driving to home I didn’t have a real mental challenge. When I do static training it is always mental, but with dynamic the focus has been to technique only.

So it’s time to change this the next time. I need more mental training and combat to overcome some ‘fears’ I have in my head.

Mental note to self: transform some of the leg training pain you can endure into freediving pain…

My fear of the unknown

Ever since I started freediving I’ve had a great time doing so. Only thing that is actually bothering me to explore the unexplored, is the fact that fear sneaks up on me. This totally chips of the relaxing edge of my freediving style.

macro water dropSomehow along the way I might have picked up a few drops of fear for the unknown, or even the things I’m not able to control. Why is it that when I dive down in the blue depths of Egypt I have no trouble to find my equalizing limit at about 40m’s deep, but back in the Netherlands when I try to dive down to 35m’s in Panheel I get stuck at 33m’s deep returning with a small lung squeeze caused by the stress of it.

Pinpointing the culprit
Jorg and I have analyzed this and concluded that it has something to do with a feeling making me uncomfortable at Panheel’s depths. What could it be that triggers this phenomenon?

  • First thing that comes to mind is the colder water, which makes it harder for me to equalize at depth. I found out by doing a CNF to 15m’s in only a swimming short. Equalizing stopped at 8-10m’s just because of the colder water on my face.
  • Second thing I can think of is the strange feeling I get in the dark and murky waters of Panheel; Fear! It’s a strange feeling and god knows why it’s triggered, but it’s a hell of a tormentor.

Fear analyzed

Staring into the abyss...
Staring into the abyss...

When it’s a fear thing, why do I fear the things I love to do;

  • Could it be that whenever I’ve done it once, I know what it is and the culprit is kicked out forever?
  • Would that mean that the fear is triggered by not knowing?
  • Or even by the fact I can’t control the outcome?
  • Could it be I had an earlier experience, which triggers these feelings?

My theory to my fear is that I’m having a fear from not knowing, I know for myself no one can control the outcome. You can influence it but never control it, I’ve accepted that a long time ago. It might be that it’s one event that keeps haunting me, but as I discussed it with Jorg, this didn’t seem to be the culprit. When I relate it to my freediving past, there are several items which also trigger that same feeling; I have the same feeling about exceeding my limits, the unknown… Maybe by writing it down in this blog makes me realize I shouldn’t fear a thing which is uncontrollable and just let go and hold on to my motto with freediving; Just do it!

So next time we ride out for Panheel, I’ll surely have to try and freedive with my eyes closed to give my theory a go…

Step back; take a break

20070319_Heemstede_10.jpgI used to be eager to compete and never created any pressure for myself, showing just a performance for me. Nowadays I tend to create such a pressure field that on the day of the competition I even have cranky morning and have no interest in competing what so ever. That’s when it struck me and after quite a few promises in earlier competitions that I would not compete for a while I still continued to inscribe myself… Getting close to National Record level performances and coming up first in Huy (BE), just made it worse…

20061021_wiesbaden_21.jpgSubconscious I started thinking I could break National records and show international worthy performances in competitions. But to be able to compete at such a level, the road to it just isn’t that uncomplicated as my mind likes to think. Why are my thoughts suddenly filled with these ideas, while I know that a record is only a record and only stands for a certain amount of time. Like Jorg and I agreed long ago, that whenever my personal best would exceed a national record, the fact that I would perform a personal best is the most important thing.

All these thoughts aren’t beneficial to my performances, especially when my mind couldn’t stop thinking about it. Distracting me from my actual goal in freediving: Getting satisfaction from training hard, performing to my own limits (…and beyond) while having fun in doing so.

Long story short
backtothedrawingboard.jpgI just want to find my fun and joy in freediving again, do my thing and find out why I’m able to freedive when I’m on a total different approach. I will take a step back and I won’t be competing in any competitions for a while. I’ll continue freediving, but with the goal I intentionally started freediving in 2003.

So it’s back to the drawing board for Sanne Buurma!

Avoiding a Split second decision

IMG_1100.jpgAt the end of 2003 I started freediving and ever since that time I’ve been evolving and growing in my freediving experience. However with all the good that comes from freediving, somewhere along the way a bad habit has been digging itself in my way of experiencing freediving. I’ll try and put it in words as the “Split second decision”.

When I’m doing a freediving performance, whether it’s for training or for competition, my decision making isn’t controlled in a way I’d like. It should be as simple as this: if your brain doesn’t send a signal to your body to surface, you won’t surface from a performance.

back_on_track.jpgSo, why is it that I never had the urge to really push my self and see where I end up when I wouldn’t have made the split-second decision? In all my freediving I never had a single black-out and I actually think that on itself that is quite a remarkable achievement, since I’ve been freediving on a certain level where you’d expect it to happen. So far I’ve been looking at this from a negative/rational side and keeping in the back of my mind that blacking out sets you back in training, competition and in general.

Why shouldn’t I try and find my real limit and go for the experience and see how I recover from a black-out, as there have been just as many positive/inspiring stories as there are negative/rational stories. Maybe it takes away my split-second decision making organ and persuades it into not making the early call to bail.

twilight_freediving.jpgThe quest to end this habit has been around since Jorg, Marieke and I have spotted it in my behaviour… And after looking at this part of freediving from a certain point of view it’s time for me to look at it from a different point of view and meet my match in finding out where real limits are defined. I won’t go blindly into black-outs now, but I see it as the process where this whole training period revolves around. Explaining it in two key-phrases:

Breaking the mental limiter.

Black-out not as a means, but a consequence I’d be willing to accept.

I would like to hear your Feedback
If you had a black-out:

  • What is your opinion on this matter?
  • How did you experience a black-out vs. eventually raising your limits?

If you didn’t have a black-out:

  • How is your point of view in this matter?
  • What is your opinion about a black-out?