I finally had a chance to dive into the deepest pool in Europe. At DeepSpot near Warsaw, you can dive up to 45m, which is way beyond my current freediving capabilities. So I signed up for a level 2 course, which allows me to go as deep as 30m. The study lasted three days, where I was both training in the pool and learning the theory behind freediving. Not surprisingly, there is a lot of science behind it. It can take a lifetime to master the sport, and it often does. People worldwide are passionate about freediving and spend endless hours both practising and analyzing what the human body is capable of, helping to understand how to reach the limit of depth and breath hold time, which professional freedivers push further and further. The amount of knowledge involved and the variety of techniques is overwhelming at the beginning, and to make sense of it, first in theory, and then in practice, you must spend long hours studying and training. Equalization techniques, using mammal reflux, and avoiding the lung squeeze, to name a few, help us to reach and extend our limits. Once you get familiar and comfortable with the techniques, you can enjoy freediving's art and beauty more.
My progress reminded me of the Dunning-Kruger effect. I learned how to swim ages ago. I don't even remember the time when I could not do it. Diving was natural for me, and I thought I could go deep. Ignoring the deep dives I sporadically saw in media, I assumed I was good at it. I could go as deep as 5m, instinctively equalizing. I lived in this pleasant bubble of imagined competency until I tried real freediving for the first time, and once I was exposed to the vast knowledge about the topic. I realized my equalization sucks, and I started seeing my untrained body's limits. I quickly reached the "Valley of Despair" and lost all the confidence I used to have. Now I'm slowly building it again, but this time I believe based on the knowledge I get from the specialists in the field.
It is impressive to see how seemingly simple things can be complicated. We ignore the complexity in our daily life because our limited minds cannot possibly hold that much information. That is a great thing to simplify our lives, but I believe it is good to be aware of it. We are ignorant about most things and can be wrong in our opinions.
During the freediving course, I dove deep in the swimming pool but also into the depth of the field knowledge, which is as hard as staying below the surface of the water.