Can you tell everyone a little about yourself? | When (where) and how did you first get introduced to freediving?
My name is Chris, French freediving Instructor. I come from a small town in brittany France and I always had a love for, an attraction to the water and to traveling.
After 10 years working as an IT manager in France and China, I had enough. Enough of the stressful life in a big city, spending hours behind a computer, sitting in endless meetings that never seemed to go anywhere…
So, I quit my job and started traveling throughout South-East Asia in search of something different. I wasn’t quite sure what that would be yet, but I knew that I wanted to change my lifestyle and find a better way to live. It was during this trip that I started freediving and found out I loved it. So much so, that I decided to keep on training and he became a freediving instructor at FreediveGili in Indonesia.
For the last 3 years I have been sharing my passion with my students from all over the world, giving them more confidence underwater, and coaching them for better technique, and through life in general. But most importantly, I want to have fun, enjoy life and the company of those around me, and to be happy.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
This is such a hard question :), maybe :
“Chris, a quest to happiness and freedom”
How would you describe freediving to someone who is scared of the water?
Ok first of all, trust yourself, trust your body. Your body is amazing. Everybody can hold their breath for at least 2 to 3 minutes. It is just a matter of relaxation and trusting in your body, in yourself.
If you scared of water, there’s a beginner course, that’s a great way to start. You will learn how to relax, how to trust yourself in the water, step by step. It is an amazing feeling of freedom, of peace. What you feel down there is hard to explain, but imagine like an Happy place with silence, and blue water.
I had student who came to see me because they were scared of water and they wanted to work on it. After a few days, they were much more relaxed in the water, able to dive down to 5-10 meters without panicking and with a big smile on their face.
For someone who is new to freediving, what are your top 5 tips for them?
My first tips to start freediving will be:
- Trust yourself, everybody can do it. Your body is amazing
- Build up confidence step by step in the water, don’t push your limits
- Take a course with a freediving instructor to get the knowledge and dive safe
- Never ever freedive alone, always dive with a buddy
- And – have fun! That’s what matters after all
Up to date, what are your top 3 places to freedive?
- Dominica island, amazing island and amazing condition for freediving, with deep water really close to the shore, no current, 29-30C water
- Gili island, in Indonesia, amazing reef with amazing visibility up to 40Meters, warm water
- Dean’s blue hole in Bahamas, the best spot in the world for freediving with a blue hole of 200Meters depth, 50 meters from the shore, no current.
What is Freedive-Earth? What is the meaning behind the name?
My idea behind freedive-earth was to build an online community around free diving. A place where people will be able to learn more about our wonderful sport, about safety, physiology, training, competition, world record, but also a place to meet people around freediving and spearfishing. I talked to my friend Chris (freediving instructor and doctor) and we decided to start freedive-earth.
Explain “PADI” and “SSI”? How long have you been an instructor?
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and SSI (Scuba Schools International) and 2 different agencies in diving education, scuba diving and freediving. It allows us, as instructors, to teach and give our students a certification for their course so as they can continue their freediving education in any other school around the world.
There are many others agencies, we all recognise each other, that means someone can do a level1 with PADI and do the level2 with SSI for instance.
List some of your favorite exercises (breathing, physical and/or psychological) for training?
Stretching is one of my favourite exercise I do on daily basis, even when I am not freediving. You can see the video I made on stretching on my YouTube channel.
Meditation, I think is something really useful for freediving. It helps you become more focused, to live in the present moment. When you become negatively buoyant in the water you start something call the freefall, basically you sink down in the water, and what you need at this time of your dive is a deep relaxation and focus.
Dry static/breath-hold exercices. When I am far from the water I like doing static training, breath hold training. Basically, I lay down on my bed or yoga mat, hold my breath and work on my relaxation. There are different exercice you could do such as O2 table, Co2 table and apnea walking.
What was the last picture you took with your phone?
Sunset In New York city.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
My superpower would be the ability to fly. Flying is freedom, and this is why I also love freediving, it is like flying underwater, freedom underwater.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Hahaha, it is a good question. I have no idea, I don’t know where I will be but I know I will still freedive and I will still be not far from the water.