I stumbled upon this 2009 article in the Journal of Sport and Tourism, titled Extreme Sports as a Precursor to Environmental Sustainability. This examination postures that, “Reports indicate that extreme sport participants develop feelings of connection to the natural world and describe themselves as being at one with the natural world or connected through a life enhancing energy…feeling connected to nature leads to a desire to care for the natural world and contributes to more environmentally sustainable practices.” This short report sparked my own reflection on why/how I got into freediving and apnea practice. It started off as an independent goal to work on my physical weak points, to give myself a challenge, all through pool work. After reading several books and a great amount of internal examination, I gained insight into the flow states I was tapping into through breath holding. I had never experienced this other than through Soto Zen mediation and while operating in the tactical environment.
This paper defined extreme sports as, “…independent sports where the most likely outcome of a mismanaged mistake or accident is death.” I think this is a requirement to tap into deep levels of flow state, the convergence of singularity and duality, all in connection to the environment in which one is connected to. It was mentioned in this paper one needed to feel connected to the natural world in order to enact personal sustainability practices. I don’t totally agree with this; however, I cannot deny after my initial experience freediving in the ocean, I felt as if I was part of the ocean and needed to do my part to protect it. I was vulnerable…and yet connected to the point I felt as though I no longer needed to breath.
This a quick and digestible article which you should check out. Let me know your thoughts.