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Nik Linder: Freediving in extreme conditions - Freediving under ice
15 Feb 2021
No matter if you dive on a single breath or with a scuba diving tank. You always need to rely on yourself and your equpment. But sometimes you are more exposed for example when you dive under the ice.
If you dive under ice on a single breath you are searching for this Exposure. Not only do you have limited time, as you are traveling on only one breath, you also have limited exits. In preparation for my world records in dynamic under ice I trained especially the mental aspect of the dive.
Usually in every sport and during every challenge you have this inner voice that tries to stop you. „You are not able to do it", „You are not good enough", „last time it was easier", „what are you doing here" and so on. In a normal freedive in the pool you have this inner voice as well and you have to deal with it. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn´t, but in preparation for the world record attempt I tried to do as if I would dive under the ice all the time, no matter whether I was training in the pool or in the lake. So although I had no chance of training under ice, I claimed to be under ice to train my mind and to be able to deal with the Inner critic.
There are two options of dealing with the Inner Critic . First : Listen carefully what are the most common statements of him/her e.g. „You will never be able to achieve this", „You are not good enough", „Today is not your day - you are not fit enough right now".
When you have all your statements - think about how you could answer :
Critic : You will never be able to achieve this, because you are not good enough !
Answer : No I have trained hard for a long time, I am well prepared everything will work fine !
Critic : Today is not good you are not fit enough today !
Answer : Today is perfect, I am glad to get the chance to perform now, I am healthy, I am fit, Today is the day".
The second Option is to keep your mind busy - give yourself something to think about. To control your thoughts in this way is called meditation. A good way to get silence in your monkey brain is to scan your body. During my dive my eyes follow the orientation rope and my mind scans my body from the feed upwards to the head. I make sure to relax every muscle I don´t need during the dive. The more muscles are relaxed, the less energy they consume, the less oxygen is wasted.
Compared to the monkey brain - this means your automatic thoughts and concerns take over and your mind is full of doubts and fears, your controlled thoughts are more quiet. The less your brain is affected by negative thoughts the less energy it consumes. The brain is the organ which consumes the most energy.
I was succesfull during my world record attempts, because I was stabil in my thoughts and able to control them. I think from the competetive sports this is the biggest benefit for my normal life. How can you deal with big challenges, are you able to control your doubts and concerns ? When is the time to deal with those and when it is time to perform.
Nikolay „Nik" Linder is Ambassador for Davosa watches. In his career he has broken a number of records, the most spectacular ones were the five Worldrecords in long distance breath hold dives under a closed layer of ice in the cold mountain lakes of Switzerland and Austria. To ensure, when it is time to perform for Nik, he wears a Davosa watch on every dive.
Here are the specs from Nik’s own DAVOSA Argonautic BG Automatic, which he knows he can trust 100%:
- 316L stainless steel - 30 ATM water resistance - Uni-rotatable, high-tech ceramic bezel with luminous digits - Screw-down crown and base - Helium safety valve - Dial and hands with applied BGW9 SuperLumiNova - Integrated rubber strap with folding buckle