Alchemy freeediver Cassandra Cooper is currently in Cyprus, training and waiting to compete, as part of Team Canada, at the 27th AIDA World Championship. During a recent interview, she noted how the shortage of training buddies has affected her training in Canada. Read on.
How Did You Get Into Freediving?
"Technically I started two years ago. I lived in Thailand, I was in the south on an island there, and that's where I first heard about it, did my first course and I couldn't stop talking about it. Last year I decided to dedicate my time to train full-time, I was gonna train here originally but one thing led to another and I ended up living in Egypt and training there for the past six months".
Is It A Safe Sport?
"Yes, it is safe, it's actually a very safe sport when done properly, like anything, you know. You could say that you're safe, as your safeties are experienced, or as you are experienced. When you're surrounded by the right people and you're training in a way that isn't exerting yourself every single time you dive, then it's definitely a safe sport".
Take Us Through One Of Your Dives
"Basically, you're taking some time before to relax, you're doing your relaxation phase before your dive to lower your heart rate, and prepare for your dive as much as possible. You're taking one big full breath and then you do a duck dive, and you begin your descent. There are four disciplines actually in freediving right now, we're talking about bifins which is what I've been up to. You're gonna do your strong kicks at the beginning and then once you hit a level of neutral buoyancy in the water, then you taper off and go into a freefall. You're actually just sinking. It’s very relaxing, it’s very meditative, some people say it's almost like a crash course in meditation, because of how therapeutic it is. You need to make sure you have no tension being held, your mind isn't wandering, no negative thoughts are coming in. It is peaceful".
How Big Is The Freediving Community In Canada?
"It's actually been a bit of a challenge here in Canada because there's no freediving community in Kelowna. There are Facebook groups you know, we talk, there's a community on the coast of spearos and cold water freedivers, but for myself, it's really strength training, a lot of apnea and dry training, and then obviously you go in the pool, but the thing is that you need a safety whenever you're doing any sort of breath-hold underwater So, I basically came here and I was asking for people to train with me so I could coach them! I guess I need to try to build the community of freedivers to at least two around here"!