And what was at the beginning just a game to push my limits became then a real adventure in a new place. So with my capacities, I realized that I could be able to dive and to discover the underwater world, and on my own, I could dive where people normally use tanks to dive. And I was fascinated by this idea that if I train my body and my mind just with my natural skills, I can go where almost nobody can go.
When I realized what that exploration meant to me, it became a combined quest, a quest to conform my body and to really become an aquatic human. When I realized that I had the capacity with a lot of training to become one of the deepest freedivers in the world, and then it became kind of a dream to become the deepest guy on the planet. It's not an ego thing, and it's not only about sports. It's about going in a place where you know you're the first, and it's about much more than the numbers.
JG: We were in the Bahamas, Guillaume was competing for this championship in , and I joined him there. And we had this underwater camera in housing because, you know Guillaume, he loves his photography. A friend of ours had the same exact camera, and he showed us the movie he made with it. We thought it was beautiful and said, "Oh, my God.
We have the same device, maybe we can make something. I would love to dive into this beautiful blue hole we have in the Bahamas because we're free in the afternoon. Maybe we can take the camera and film me. What we found quite interesting was the chance to show another side of freediving, not only about performance but just more about the feeling of it underwater.
But, Guillaume knew some and he told me, "Yeah. You push this button and you turn and you see what's happening on the image and if you like it, you know it's okay. We made our Freefall video just thinking we're going make a nice vacation movie. GN: When we did the first movies, the reason why it touched so many people is because we really tried to show freediving in a new way. To explore a new way to interact with the water. Walking, running, jumping, flying.
That was something that had never been done before, showing the link between humans and the water in this way. Filming while freediving presents its own unique challenges and opportunities. How have you adapted your technique? JG : We just started filming on breath hold, and we found out that it was making our images special because, of course, also I'm so free in the water.
I can go so fast. I can follow Guillaume wherever he goes. He asked me to do this quite amazing shot in Freefall where I start behind him and I go in front and I turn around; that's impossible to do with the scuba. We need to plan a lot of what we're going to be shooting. To me this is less organic, you know, a bit less magic happening because it's all planned.
And what I love doing in freediving is that when I'm down there I just can decide, "Okay. Let's do something else," and that's really powerful. GN : The breath hold time is really an issue because when you're filming like that, you're not focused on being relaxed and saving energy. Today's EWC article inspires us to completely rethink the exploration of the amazing depths of our own planet!
Finally, if you were inspired by this film to learn more about the health of our oceans and support ocean exploration, go check out the NOAA website. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is leading the way on vital research about our oceans and the role they play in the health of our planet! Use the itsstillanamazingworld in your post and tag us to connect! Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram Liesl.
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Sign me up! As an international endurance and world record breaking athlete, this is part of my daily life.
I use these challenges as a way for me to show people the tools to be able to accept, learn, adapt and keep moving forward through adversity. My most humbling experience was receiving the recognition for my national and international efforts and having it broadcast live to millions across the globe as the final baton barer for the Commonwealth Games.
Throughout my life, including the athletic challenges I studied the common tools that I was using intuitively that allowed me to remain calm under stressful situations and keep moving forward. It always came back to having control and understanding of my breath, and my ability to regulate the physical, mental and emotional stress that I was under, without having to stop for long periods of time to compose myself.