Several years back when I got my scuba diving certification, I literally had no words to describe my experience. A few years later when I chanced upon James Nestor’s Deep on free diving, I was shocked, mesmerized and stoked all at once. I literally gulped the book and to date it is one of those books that I could totally get absorbed in one go.
I keep telling Miss Me how at times, I catch myself not breathing. While mostly it’s psychological, I also believe at some level it is sub-conscious. And then when you’re almost consumed by the mundane necessities with everyday chores, videos such as this bring your breath back – in one whole swoop.There’s so much depth in this video that keeps you wanting to re-watch it. I love the cold and freezing temperatures. I yearn for vast, untouched landscapes. And true silence gets me deeply captivated. This clip encompasses all that in so many levels all through.
And if that didn’t do enough justice here’s the behind the scenes.
Early last month I happened to read a TED article on the body’s reaction to water where the author talks about “Mammalian dive reflex” a phenomenon by which water triggers an immediate decrease in heart rate and optimizes respiration. The article instantly reminded me of scubadiving – something that I really missed doing this year and introduced me to a discipline called freediving – something that sounded just as exciting if not more. It obviously didn’t need much convincing for me to procure the book.
While describing his own experience learning to freedive, James does a brilliant job by not just explaining the science behind freediving but also draws interesting parallels between the discipline as a sport and as a means to explore the underwaters. As he delves deeper, he outlines how freediving has two isolated yet binding groups – One that numbingly follows the discipline for recognition and breaking records , the other that uses it to research and reveal mysteries that humanity for long has never understood and the isolated few that blend both of these.
It’s amazing how there’s so much you’ve not known about the waters and how much this book reveals – presumably still just scratching the surface. While I caught myself holding my breath every once in a while, this has been one brilliant read and I cannot wait to get back to the waters!
A glimpse of the past week and the few articles, podcasts, tools, videos and music that captivated my attention:
Most of this week was spent planning the next few months and chalking out various things we had to line-up. We’re super excited that Shasta will soon be able to experience the cold a bit and that we’d be able to take her on some long outdoor hikes in the snow.
She’s turning one soon and we plan to keep her birthday celebration low-key. Probably a good breakfast out somewhere with the family. She’s now becoming super communicative – pointing with the forefinger if she needs something or wants to know what it is. At this point we’re convinced ‘Ka’s her first word. Probably inspired by the crows by the pool, which absolutely fascinate her!
Early next month, I am facilitating a visit of a group of about 50 kids to Kochi and Munnar. The activity line-up looks pretty cool and I am super excited to be back in the thick of it with a different pair of boots!
On Friday, Meena and I met a friend of mine from Infosys. We’d organized a ton of team-building activities together when we were on the same team. She was a fire-craker beaming with positivity when we worked together and one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed working in Infosys. Nothing much has changed since then! She was visiting her family in Chennai and I’m so glad we were able to catch-up!
We were pretty much rained in through the week, (and S and I did get a bit lazy) so running did take a hit. Was a great swim weak though! ~30 min. swim sessions each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and a 20k bike ride on the aerofit recumbent bike on Friday.
Of other notable events this week – A first of a kind: Meena, S and I were interviewed on the same panel; Joined the Columbia Alumni folks here in Chennai for an early evening meet and a family friend who is currently preparing for his GMAT texted saying the resources I had pointed him to were super useful.
Interesting tools this week:
Allsides: A portal that intends to produce balanced-view news across the political spectrum.
Ramblr: Record, track and share outdoor activities
The death zone : If there’s one thing I would try if I had absolutely no responsibilities, it would be free-diving. Ironically, I’m saying this now when my breath tuning is way off. I was mesmerized when I first learnt about free-diving and to this day, that fascination has not weaned out!
Took some time out today to make sure I post a year-end update for 2014. I somehow seem to have missed doing this for the past three years. Looking back, this year has been extremely fulfilling – both professionally and personally. Here’s a quick rewind:
Interned at Deloitte for two months. My first actuarial internship and a great start to the year.
Attended the SOA Hartford Student Connect. Great drive to the ‘Insurance capital of the world’ and a good day spent meeting practicing actuaries.
Bought a new bike – my first ever road bike! [icon name=”bicycle” class=””]