As we come up on another Olympics it has me thinking of our own sport and the way we train and prepare for it. CMAS, the governing body of competitive spearfishing, is an Olympic accredited organization. Why don't we behave or get treated like Olympians? Surfing was just added for the first time to the Olympic Games. Is it that far fetched that someday spearfishing or freediving will too?
It's no secret that there is not alot of money in professional spearfishing. Cameron Kirconnel once wrote an article about getting sponsorships. It was actually about being your own best sponsor. Basically go to school, get a good job and make sure you leave enough time for diving.
Maybe that's because the right person hasn't come along yet or the sport itself isn't quite ready to support full-time United States pros. So many incredible divers have gotten to the place where I am right now and then quit. Discouraged from the financial commitments of competing, working really hard with little return, and in the end not performing well enough against the full-time professional Europeans. For whatever reason since the days of Terry Maas and the Ernst brothers, no one has stuck with it long enough to become good enough to put the US on the podium. So before I become one of them and abandon this all in search of more profitable endeavors, I'm going to give it my all. For the past few years I've expected to be treated like a pro but I haven't been acting like a pro. I party too much. I'm out of shape. I don't train at all. My travels have spoiled me and lately I only dive when conditions are good and it's convenient. That may have cut it before but at the world level it doesn't even come close.
I've always gotten away with being out of shape for my style of diving. My minimum surface interval is usually three minutes. This works great for two minute dives in 80 feet. In 30 - 60 feet in a competitive setting this doesn't work at all. I'll need to match my bottom time on the surface. Some variation of 1:30 down, 1:30 up. This will be the type of diving I'll encounter in all three of my major tournaments in 2018. This requires a level of cardio fitness that I'm not at and have never been at but intend to get to.
This is my commitment to you to be a better athlete. My mission for this year is to dive with a purpose as much as possible. To spend more time in the gym than at the bar and to dive with and learn from as many of you as possible. Everyone has something to teach and I'm going to make an effort to gather as much knowledge as I can before the next World Championship. I've always wondered what I could do if I was actually in shape and trained like an athlete. This year we will find out.