The Artwork Of Not Panicking – Maintain Your Breath: The Ice Dive

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By SwimSwam Associate Content material on SwimSwam

Courtesy of dryrobe®, a SwimSwam companion.

Beneath Finland’s frozen lakes is a darkish, nonetheless, ice-cold world that might terrify most individuals in the event that they ever got here into contact with its treacherous circumstances.

However for Finnish free diver Johanna Nordblad, the icy seclusion discovered beneath the frozen floor is a porthole to a tranquil and secure area that’s unbeknown to most.

Maintain Your Breath: The Ice Dive is a surprising Netflix documentary that follows the journey of Johanna and her photographer sister Elina as they pursue a formidable objective – to see how far Johanna can dive the longest distance underneath freezing water in a single single breath.

Along with her adventurous spirit, daring nature, and dependable assist of Elina, Johanna is set to tear down feminine stereotypes and try to interrupt the present world file for each women and men.

Our companions at dryrobe® caught up with the sisters to talk about this inspiring movie and uncover the eagerness and coaching behind making the unthinkable attainable.

In March 2021, you accomplished an unimaginable ice freediving world file – greater than doubling your earlier file of fifty meters to 103 meters. How did you first get into freediving and the way did it grow to be ice diving?

Johanna: I used to be in scuba diving college, and it was Elina’s ex-husband who stated there was one thing referred to as freediving and I attempted it. Instantly I used to be like, ‘Aw okay that is like diving!’

We had the primary freediving coaching membership in Finland, and there have been just a few individuals in it, so we went straight to the World Championships, and I used to be within the staff.

I went to the chilly (water) as a result of I broke my leg in a downhill bike accident and to deal with the ache, I used chilly water to assist. Then little by little, I went additional and additional down.

However the chilly water wasn’t there at the start in any respect.

What’s it in regards to the stillness that you just expertise whenever you’re underneath the water within the ice gap that you just get pleasure from?

Johanna: Underneath the ice, it’s so empty and totally different. I believe the chilly makes it very meditative as a result of your physique slows down extra.

When the sunshine comes by means of the ice, it’s tremendous lovely, and it’s like every thing stops instantly. It’s one thing my mind can’t perceive, like a unique world.

Feeling nervous throughout these dives could be extremely harmful, inflicting excruciating ache and the shortcoming to focus. What do you do to make sure this doesn’t occur?

Johanna: It’s half psychological, and it’s in regards to the leisure and the respiratory earlier than you go in.

Issues like CO2 ranges go up, and blood vessels get greater so that you don’t really feel the ache, then it feels heat. However in case you are nervous, it doesn’t work correctly.

So in case you are not relaxed you’re going to get that ‘AH! It’s chilly!’ ache.

Elina: In fact, when you’ve by no means been in chilly water, it hurts. So she has to get used to the chilly little by little. So if she wished to swim longer durations in a swimsuit subsequent winter, she would want to begin coaching now.

Within the movie, you speak in regards to the affect of COVID and clarify the way you went from feeling assured in your first try to not being as prepared when the second alternative got here round. What did coaching appear to be for you within the lead-up to the file?

Johanna: Every thing was totally different. The primary yr I used to be coaching, and the second yr I wasn’t.

The swimming pools had been closed. And the foundations saved altering. It was mentally onerous to search out the explanation why I ought to do it – it takes half of my work time to coach.

It’s a tough sport to coach as a result of there are such a lot of issues that have an effect on diving so it’s inconceivable to repeat. In coaching, I by no means do the utmost dives, so I don’t know how a lot additional I can go. Then I do this precise file dive or do the competitors to see.

So I used to be very proud I did it. I’m not so pleased with the file, however I went there and tried my greatest.

On the day of the file try, you had a specialised digicam crew with you within the water. Did this create extra strain?

Johanna: Beforehand sure. However for the precise file try, it doesn’t matter as I’m simply focussing on myself.

Elina: On the precise file day it doesn’t matter as a result of Johanna is simply concentrating on the dive. However we all know they only preserve filming no matter occurs, so there’s that strain. But in addition, a bit of little bit of strain that it’s a must to do the dive initially and do the perfect you may on a contest day as a result of there are different individuals too who’re there simply due to this dive – and strain for Johanna that she will be able to’t simply do 2 meters and are available up. She has to do the perfect dive she will be able to on that day.

So in that interval simply earlier than you’re going within the water, what goes by means of your head throughout the countdown?

Johanna: So I’m concentrating on myself. Simply earlier than I’m going, I’ve to consider how I really feel and the way nervous I’m to work out what number of breaths I take.

I’ve to know precisely how I breathe earlier than as a result of the chilly and diving reflex slows me down. So I’ve to know what number of occasions I breathe as a result of I’ve to delay my diving reflex. I’ve to breathe a bit of bit greater than regular and hyperventilate a bit of bit to push the diving reflex ahead.

But when I’m nervous and breathe an excessive amount of then I can’t dive up to now.

Elina: As a result of every thing is so effectively deliberate, she doesn’t have to consider anything than the dive itself. The diving observe is secure and checked. Earlier than the dive, I’m there serving to her to placed on the swimsuit and prepare.

With dryrobe®, it’s an enormous a part of the focus half! It’s very effectively deliberate the place I’m standing with it, with the wind. And he or she does her final respiratory underneath it. So it’s been actually good for that.

We have now a really clear routine on what to do. After which it’s simply go. She at all times guarantees she’s going to come up if it feels actually unhealthy.

How did you are feeling whenever you got here up on the 103-meter mark?

Johanna: Glad as a result of I wasn’t ready and wasn’t coaching as a lot as I might have favored to!

I couldn’t speculate how far I may go as a result of the prep wasn’t so good, so my plan was, no matter occurs, I’ll dive 60 meters. And once I get there, assume ‘Can I’m going to the subsequent gap?’

At 80m I used to be considering, ‘I do know I can do 10 meters extra.’ At 93m, I used to be like ‘That is the often the place I might come up’…After which I believed ‘I’m not coming right here tomorrow!’

Elina: The second that we had been strolling to the ice and to the primary gap, it was like, ‘We made it.’ It doesn’t matter what she does, it’s numerous strain to do a comp dive. Probably the most tough issues relating to this dive was the yr main as much as it, so the truth that we had been really there and the movie crew was there meant that this dive was now a actuality and we had been comfortable about that.

In any case these holes after the 60m mark, I used to be there ready like, ‘Is she developing now or is she going to the subsequent one?’ And naturally, when she went previous 93, then I knew, ‘Oh my god she goes to the final one.’

When she got here up, and I noticed her take her first breath, I knew she was tremendous. And when she begins laughing I do know she is unquestionably tremendous – however even the choose stated that the snort took a bit of bit longer to begin than traditional!

How necessary was it to finish this achievement collectively?

Johanna: It was like, why ought to I do it alone?

Elina was residing in New Zealand for years, then Australia. After which she moved to Finland, and I used to be like, ‘Sure, now now we have time to do one thing collectively.’

However I’ve to work, and she or he has to work. After which we determined now we have to work collectively.

Elina: In 2013, she was going to the World Champions in Serbia. And I used to be in Portugal, and she or he rang me and was like, ‘I’m not going when you’re not coming as a result of I want you there as my photographer!’

She had already been competing for 13 years so wished to deliver one thing extra enjoyable into it than simply competing.

She’s good in competitions, however she’s not like ‘I wish to make a file, I wish to be the perfect on the planet.’ She has that facet, however she desires to see what’s attainable.

Elina, what did it imply to you to observe your sister’s journey by means of images?

Elina: It’s a pleasant factor. It’s good for me after all to be within the water with my digicam, but it surely’s additionally type of a part of her coaching – but it surely makes it enjoyable because it’s not simple for her to be within the chilly water to mannequin for me!

As a photographer, it brings a brand new dimension to the entire thing. In fact, I really like water and have been a photographer for 15 years. So as to add the water ingredient into my photos, it’s additionally a enjoyable factor for me and is a motivation for my work. We are able to do no matter we would like, and it’s enjoyable.

Elina, On the finish of the movie, you say ‘Now you by no means must dive once more. That was the final one.’ Do you assume it will likely be the final one?

Elina: The file itself will not be a objective and this challenge was so onerous for 3 years.

And so many occasions, she says ‘Why am I doing this? I don’t wish to do that. I can’t do that.’ and she or he is crying. To see and reside by means of all that and to see her do it, it was like, you by no means must undergo this once more. Except she desires to after all!

We don’t must do a documentary about any data, it may be about one thing else as an alternative. Simply enjoyable diving for her.

Johanna: It has given us a lot. The images they took and the documentary are very lovely. Somebody captured the water as I see it.

Elina: We’re thanking Ian Derry and Archer’s Mark a lot that they walked this journey along with us. Means so much to us!

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