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Tuesday, February 1

Interview: The Sea holds a key

Red Sea, June 30th 2005, Patrick Musimu redefined the human limits with a dive on one breath to 209.6 m depth in "No Limit" discipline.

 At that time, diving below 200m depth in apnea was unthinkable. The majority of the free diving community was very skeptical about the magnitude of a dive like this, as this would represent an improvement of more than 30 m deep over the previous world record. It was unprecedented.

Musimu chose not to allow his performance to be ratified by any federation, and he proved it was possible to dive even beyond those depths breaking existing concepts and dogmas.

 According to him, "No Limit" is not and should not be part of a sport activity, but rather part of an adventure in the exploration of human potential.

Patrick Musimu is now involved in a new project called "No Limit Triple Quest”, which seeks to explore new depths in three forms of "No Limit": Tandem, Traditional and Absolute.

João Costa

January 2011

"The Sea holds a key to another dimension"

What did it mean for you to dive below 200m, back in 2005? Patrick Musimu: It meant freedom! Indeed, whether we like it or not, we are all part of a system that likes to conduct our behavior and lead our thoughts. My dive came to remind us that out there is still something called free will. My action had the merit of underlining and reminding us that we all have the ability to shape our dreams and make them reality. The barriers are in our minds. To accept one's limits or those set for us amounts to failing in our duty as human beings. The destiny no longer appears to be a mere forced order. It is given to us to make choices and hear the voice which speaks to us about this destiny.

What do you remember most from those moments? Patrick Musimu: If I had to summarize all what have been given to me to see, to touch, to feel down there I would say: “Down there I found a lake and started to breathe”

Why do you want to dive deeper, what is the appeal for the “big blue”? Patrick Musimu: Can't explain you why. I just need it. Deep diving is about repositioning myself. Down there I enter in another dimension. I touch the 7th sense where “I'm no longer”. Each cell lives like an entity on its own.

So deep Freediving for you is more than body and mind fitness? Patrick Musimu: Deep Free diving is a form of yoga. Any activity practiced with assiduity and perseverance can lead you to an upper level of Consciousness, so is painting, martial arts, etc… Only the “No Limits” could allow me to focus on the mind more than the body/fitness.

How do you prepare yourself for such depths, how do you tune your body and mind? Patrick Musimu: I afford myself a 20-40minutes session of meditation every day. Practice aerobic activities for 20min (2 or 3x/week) with max bpm 120, plus 2 sessions/day of spine flexibility and spine muscle stimulation (no reinforcement!)

That seems a general training for any other sport, are there any specific techniques Patrick Musimu: The secret is all in the details. I've set world records in all kind of depth disciplines. Even when I set record in CW my training routine was 2 times training in the gym. It's all about efficiency. But to get to this result you need to understand the essence of what you’re doing.

Speaking about essence, what are the Freediving principles that one should know to learn Freediving? Patrick Musimu: Learn to have patience and be ready to accept one's reflection in the mirror. Free diving is not about how deep you go or how long you hold your breath. According to me, you become a freediver the day you realize you don’t even think that you're holding your breath while moving under water.

As there was no sense of time passing by? Patrick Musimu: it's just that it becomes a natural process in you.

Do you feel there's a limit or what are the limitation factors right now for diving deeper? Patrick Musimu: In every step men's take, there is a limit. And ever limit he faces, he'll try to overcome it. Any diving species dive up to a certain depth. Probably the crucial step for mankind will be where his nervous system will suffer from permanent anoxia.

At what depth could that happen and what measures do you take to avoid that risk? Patrick Musimu: No one could predict this depth. According to scientists and free diving experts my dive in 2005 was predicted impossible and my trachea should have imploded at 180m. I believe I'll be wise enough to listen to what my body tells me before that point.

In your upcoming book, you say in your autobiography that "We are all meant to die one day. We are born to better die". Can you speak more about this book and when it will be available? Patrick Musimu: The book adventure began in August 2005 when I started describing on paper what I lived, touched and felt during my -209m dive. From there, I needed to understand for myself why I ended up challenging the world, science and systems by diving to such a depth. Going through my life and what I've been through since the age of 10, I lay an eye on the systems which rules our lives and compose our today's civilization. Lot will be revealed in this book. It will first come out in Italy this year. The editing house will translate it in Italian.

You are now involved on another project the “No Limit Triple Quest”, can you tell us more about it? What is your motivation? Patrick Musimu: NL TQ is about exploring the 3 different forms of no limit. Each quest has its own motivation. I guess the Traditional is explained on my blog. Tandem was about sharing the feeling and emotions with a partner. Absolute no limit is about reconnecting with myself. But the most ambitious objective about this Triple Quest is to accept to communicate about it. Explain the ups and downs and not present myself as a mutant capable of incredible deeds.

Is there any message you would like to leave for those who share this common connection with the ocean? Patrick Musimu: So many people do not have the chance to share this connection. As a duty towards human kind, sharing your privilege is the least you can do for those who are in search for inspiration in their life...