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FREEDIVING SAVED ME FROM JAWS

In 1974 Peter Benchley wrote the book Jaws and Steven Spielberg made it into a movie a year later. I was just a wee little toddler at the time and I probably didn’t watch it in the movie theatre but I have very specific memories of watching it on TV over and over again. 


This movie scarred me FOR LIFE. It instilled a primal fear of being in water where I couldn’t even see the bottom - EVEN WHEN IT WAS A FREAKING LAKE. This is despite me being quite comfortable in the water. 


Media has a powerful influence on our psyche and because of that I have irrational fears of men wearing hockey masks, getting held hostage on a plane and being first in line to get executed cuz I’m American and swimming ANYWHERE I can’t see the bottom. 


My first two freediving courses were in Xiaoliuqiu, Taiwan where the waters are crystal clear with 30m visibility which is enough to see the bottom. So no problem there. 


My first time out on the boat on Gili Air for my instructor certification we were what seemed to me dumped in the middle of the ocean, vulnerably floating around waiting to be eaten with no bottom to be seen. UGH! 


I don’t know what it is about freediving, but all my fears just went away as soon as I got in the water. Freediving has an incredible way of melting away your negative energies and emotions. It's helped with my anxiety and doubts and now my utter fear of sharks. 


Now, I kinda look forward to encountering these majestic beasts of the ocean one day. And I will write about it here and let y’all know how it went! 

What fears have freediving helped you conquer? 


 Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels

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