Static Apnea in the Bay of Saint Raphael
The thing I love the most about freediving is that I make friends everywhere I go, it’s crazy!
People from all walks of life, that I would’ve never met were it not for this shared passion for apnea.
Here is a video by Frédéric Michelangeli, of me and my newest freediving buddy and good friend, Jean-Claude, training static apnea in the bay of Saint Raphael, in the French Riviera!
The video starts off quite serious haha!
But you can see that as soon as Jean-Claude starts his static, he immediately becomes relaxed, and just melts into the surface of the water.
I gently move his arms back and forth, to remind him to relax every part of his body, and to become soft and loose, almost like a piece of seaweed just floating and drifting in the water.
Static apnea can actually be quite enjoyable, if you just allow it!
If you forget about the time and focus all of your on the relaxation, on the sensations of the water – how the water feels on your face, on your hands, on your heart-rate slowing down, on your thoughts fading away…
Sometimes I even imagine that I am flying, soaring through the sky! I have my eyes closed and just allow my arms and legs to sort of dangle and float freely and naturally, without fighting or resisting.
The buoyancy of the wetsuit keeps me floating on the surface without effort, so I feel weightless, soft and free. It’s an incredible experience, but you have to create it that way in your mind
I remind Jean-Claude to keep relaxing and assist him anyway I can, guiding his hand to the buoy, telling him the time when he signals for it, reminding him to relax his shoulders and neck.
Most importantly, my focus is 100% on HIM, not the stopwatch or the scenery or the people around. I keep all of my attention entirely on him, watching closely for any signs of trouble or for any way I can help.
Even when Jean-Claude doesn’t ask me for the time, I know he wants it, because I know Jean-Claude!!
We’ve been training together for two months straight now, so we know each other pretty well at this point, we know what the other one needs and how best to support one-another during the training.
We even have our own little hand signals that allow us to communicate even better (!!) in order to get exactly the support we need from our buddy, and to have the best training possible.
But most times, we don’t even need to communicate at all, it’s like we’re an old married couple haha!
It’s pretty awesome!!
And the best, is at the end, when we’re both so happy!! No-matter how the training went, good, bad, tough, easy, tired, cold, etc we’re always glad that we did it.
We leave the beach feeling happy and energized, ready for the day. There’s always a lot of smiles and fun, especially because the hard work is over and we’re feeling pretty accomplished! (Also, we get to have our coffees now!)
Also we make sure to keep a record of our trainings, just by writing them down and documenting them on a spreadsheet. This way, over time we can really fine tune our methods and understand what works and what doesn’t. I highly recommend doing that!
Thank you Frédéric Michelangeli for the beautiful video and for recording such a nice memory.
You can see more of Frédéric’s creative videos on his Youtube channel, Fred Haiku.