Woke up tired today, I slept little and we started diving one hour earlier in order to avoid the crowds and get back sooner to work. During my morning meditation, I noticed my mind was having difficulty focusing (more so than usual...), maybe due to the increase of flies at Aqua Marina :/ or to my lack of sleep. So mental note for tomorrow; get a better night's rest, and wake up earlier to prepare at home - need the mind to focus more and wander less...
Was still a bit congested today, unfortunately :( but made it my goal to just enjoy the water and be kind to myself. To try to catch the moments when I beat myself up with self-criticism, bracket those thoughts and put them to the side to make space for loving thoughts and energy.
In the water I started with my usual warm-ups...first a relaxed, free-immersion dive with a mask to 26 meters, just to get into the feeling... "I'm water within water, I'm water within water" I tell myself over and over, doing my best to be fully present in the moment, to enjoy and tune into the feel and sensations of the water on my face, my hands and feet. But today, I found my mind during all of the phases of the dive, wandering (so guess it was not due to the flies) - with thoughts at complete random, relating to topics mostly of things that I need to do, work I need to get done, as well a bit of anxiety about my congestion argh - definitely not fun diving with a cold! The sporadic pain and uneasiness in the ears, throat and sinuses is not something I recommend.
Refusing to allow my sickness ruin my training session, and agreeing to continue in a relaxed way, zero expectation of depth, I continued on - to the next warm-up, which was an FRC dive to 22 meters, my right ear was having trouble equalizing argh and once again distracting thoughts which I let come and go, what else to do?
The last warm-up was supposed to be an FRC dive but my mind was so distracted, at the start of the descent, that I forgot to exhale before the dive, argh, so I descended with a full breath and pulled down to 31 meters, still enjoyed it, though wasn't my plan, great dive just a bit of sinus headache kicked in during the descent, which caused for more worrying (I tend to do that a lot). Still when I came up I was pleased and excited for more, I know, crazy...
Now it was time to don the monofin woo hoo! I decided to first do just a fun dive, with the mask, just to play a little and enjoy. It was amazing, so much fun this monofin. I love the speed, water rushing by, the undulating full-body movement, such a blast. The subsequent 3 dives were shallow - less than 40 meters - I didn't want to push it today while battling with this cold, but they were all fun dives and I gained some bits of knowledge from each. Some of the dives I tried out my fluid goggles (omg amazing) then others while experimenting; adding the mouthfill, modifying free-fall technique and incorporating the lanyard (even more amazing!).
The day ended on a high note, with several things tried and tested and the feeling that forward progress has been made. Also, pleased with myself that I didn't overdue it in the training. I could have easily done a few more dives today but would have finished the session exhausted. Instead I respected my body (and mind!) and stopped when I felt I was starting to get a bit tired. (Which was still all-in-all 7 dives) This left me feeling happy and energized for work, with anticipation for the next training session - basically it kept me wanting more, which is key because when you are a year round freediver, motivation is everything!
So I learned a whole lot today, but my biggest takeaway is that...I love love love love looooove constant weight - with a monofin! So much so, that I needed to write this entry to express my love for the sport and my life with the entire planet! haha! The thing about constant weight diving that I love the most is....the ascent! (Pretty ironic, as within the past year, while training in free-immersion, this has been the part of the dive I disliked the most, since it's the most difficult...). Reason why I enjoy the ascent so much is because since obviously equalizing is not required while ascending, I can just swim up to the surface like a mermaid, like a dolphin, like a fish, the speed, the fun, the ease is so incredible on the way up that when I arrive to the surface I can't wait to dive again :)
Also, I can dive a bit heavier weighted than usual, I go with a 1/2 kg more in constant weight versus free-immersion, using much less energy on the descent, in this way I can relax completely and totally while descending. I can focus my attention (or try to focus...) on my equalization - making sure the equalizations are consistent, that I do a full mouth-fill at roughly 18 meters and proper air management onward. This really works wonderfully for me, as even though it's a tad more difficult coming up, I enjoy the ascent so much anyhow, that this small amount of additional difficulty in the last half of the dive doesn't put me off or create anxiety. In this way I win in every part of the dive, the descent is easier and more relaxing and the ascent is still fun and enjoyable without anxiety. #winning
Very much looking forward to loads more of constant weight training with the monofin, and also excited to learn and explore as much as I can everyday (and on every dive!) about technique, mental training and having a balanced lifestyle.