last week, I could enjoy a week of training freediving for myself. Last time, I could do that that was in May 2012, during the Apnea Academy international instructor course :D.
This time I wanted to futher develop my equilization (EQ) knowledge and skills. Indeed in the past, I could already received some teaching from equilization master Andrea Zuccari. First time, that was in 2015, organized by Giampiero Genovese in Brussels. Unfortunately, I did the big mistake not to directly go into the EQ excercices after the workshop and almost all the knowledge I learned during these 2 days was lost :/.
Beginning of 2018, I decided to go again into EQ issues because a lot of students have to struggle with it and I wanted to improve my instructor skills in order to be able to really help them by saying more than "relax yourself" :-). Therefore I invited Andrea in my home town close to Antwerp for a 2 days "dry workshop". It was like a "revelation" to me. Andrea new courses from the Equilibration Academy were much more accessible and comprehensible in my opinion. I understood a lot of stuff following the levels 1 and 2, and then I continued to work on the various skills, ca. 15min everyday during the next months. I saw my dry EQ skills improving which was very motivating to keep work on it.
Then I had to think about a present for me entering the 40s...and I saw an advertisement about the Blue Week :-). For those who doesn't know, twice a year (may and november), Freediving World gives the opportunity for freedivers to come and train in their facility for a cheap price. So, I decided to test the Blue Week training conditions!
After a perfect organized trip thanks to Alice Cattaneo (grazie ancora!), I arrived to Freediving World center which is located in Labranda Hotel, ca. 15min away from Sharm El Sheikh airport. It is very clean and it offers good facilities and good food!
There I met nice people like Alex, Ed, Matt, Maurizio and Nadja. During 4 morning, we had theory and pratical dry sessions on Equalization Academy levels 1, 2 and 3. In the afternoon, I also took private sessions with Andrea in order to get into every single points of the course and make sure that I understood everything.
I also enjoyed very much my discussions with Andrea Uba Project about the EQ tool that he developped and also monk Loïc, which is for sure a very good new instructor asset for Freediving World!
The private lessons definetely helped me to understand my (many!) EQ mistakes. As a consequence, I spent literally hours and hours in front of the mirror in my hotel room trying to improve my EQ dry skills!
At some point, I did go to the water for a few training sessions :p. I met very nice buddies like Philippe Buzz l'éclair and David Mulheron by the way! Thank you again for buddying me guys!
Charging my mouth with air at a defined depths and trying to reach the theoretical depth achievable with a perfect air management. Definetely not easy and definetely not worth trying if the skills are not working perfecty on land. Indeed, one of Andrea's mantra: first dry training, then pool training and then sea training is really crucial. "If it is not working dry, how can it work in the water!?" he correctly says!
Gears drying after a EQ wet training session. Very nice to have that open space in your hotel room :D.
Of course, I could not leave without doing a small tour to the reef which is located like 3 min walking distance from the freediving center. I could enjoy very nice corals and fishes all around!
To summarize, it was truly a great week where I learned really a lot. Especially because I spent more time training dry than actually going in the water. This is not a big deal to me since I reach my goal which was to improve my EQ knowledge and to learn how to correct my mistakes and to become a better instructor.
I would like to thank Andrea Zuccari again for being such a dedicated and honest instructor/coach/freediver!
I hope that we will met again very soon!
PS: Freediving World may be a nice destination for one of my next freediving trip with a group of freedivers ^^.