19.5. 2014Martin Cheníček

Freediving – my way

Our bike team rider, Martin Čárys Cheníček, goes through his life at full speed. He’s been riding for our team for almost 10 years and in that time he biked across all must-see wonders of Europe. His trips took him back to roots of travel i.e. sleeping in the car on a road trip, getting to know the places a little more intimately, but mainly this is all about the riders community. Because two heads are always better than one, right? Two years ago he hit the road to kick off a totally unexplored and rather curious journey. He packed up all his stuff and moved to Indonesia to begin his new life as a freediving instructor. And now after two years Čárys is further than ever – he can hold his breath up to 7 minutes and can dive deeper than 70 meters. To give you a chance to learn more about his lifetime experiences, here it is, Martin Cheníček’s FREEDIVING WAY OF LIFE.

the pit

Martin Cheníček

„Hello my FREE sports buddies!
Yes, you! freeskiers, freeriders, freestylers and now even FREEDIVERS.

Freediving is as old as the human race! Even Mesopotamia obelisks show ‘freedivers’ soldiers using sheep’s intestine pouches to enable them to breathe under water on their way to plunder …So you can see, there’s nothing new about it.

But these days, thanks to medical research and extensive training, we can now dive to extreme depths in extreme times; we got so advanced that it is completely incomprehensible to any amateur.

But remember, all mammals, including humans, have the diving reflex, which we genetically share with seals, dolphins and whales.  And thanks to this reflex, one-day training is sufficient to learn to hold your breath for up to 3 minutes. Do you realize how much space for new adventures it opens up to you? 70% of our planet is covered by water. So go on and expand your world!

I took up freediving in 2007 and on my journey to becoming a freediver ‘pro’ I was introduced to the best spots and the most amazing drop offs of this planet. The places lost in time and space, the places that have an almost unworldly feel to them. Let me tell you now about the most stunning freediving place I’ve come across.

 ‘cos I’ve just returned from diving trip to Mexican Cenotes cave system.

the pit

Martin Cheníček

Mexico – cenotes freediving

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Mexico Cenotes are systems of natural underground sinkholes resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes ground water underneath. Imagine going to dive in the Moravian Karst caves with your neoprene, dive mask and flippers. Yeap, you’ll get locked up.

There are currently 3000 flooded cave systems in Mexico, often connected with underground river systems, or with the ocean. Some of the most beautiful centos were right where I set up my diving headquarter – close to Tulum town, in the middle of Maya Biosphere Reserve.

Freediving in caves can be dangerous if you are not well prepared – you can’t surface wherever you like, and you can get easily lost in the extensive cave water systems.  However, if you stick to simple rules i.e. not diving into the branched tunnel systems and checking your timing device for accurate dive time and depth, you’d be very unlucky to get lost.

Together with our Mexican buddies, we did some amazing freediving! Some of the cave systems are so deep, that you really don’t wanna go there in case you lose your way out. The light slowly disappears as you descend deeper; however, the visibility remains good – same like outdoor visibility – sometimes you can see up to 100m below you. It’s magical and it feels like having gone to another alien world.

Vey often I went on to 3-minute-long dives to various depths and distances. I managed to swim from  one cave system to another a few times,  and you should see the poor fellow divers’ faces when they saw a bloke in swim shorts and with only a dive mask floating around in 50m depth! :)

Freediving is a magical sport. Very often the pulse frequency goes below 10 pulsations per minute when deep diving. What that means is that I have to train much harder than in any other sports I’ve ever done (mountain climbing, marathon running or swimming, riding, MX, snowboarding). But it’s such rewarding experience and it’ll add extra DEPTH to your life.

I know from my own experience. It does enrich your perspective on life just like any other sport – it does make you humble because you’ll realize you’re not the world’s number one, and there’s always something new to learn. I’m lucky enough that as an instructor I can pass all my experiences, trips and info on to you.

The list of our events is never ending. Just log-in to our website: www.pimpyourlife.cz, or sign up to any of our beginners courses at: http://extranet.freedivinginstructors.com/app/public/courseslist.php?idinstructor=73. Check out the pics from Mexico and tell me, don’t you just wish you were there?

A big THANK YOU to Horsefeathers for their long-standing loyalty, it’s highly cherished.

Cheers, the story to be continued soon.
Next it’s Swiss rivers for us. New adventure here we come! :)

See ya later!

Martin Čárys Cheníček
Horsefeathers team

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