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!