Matt Malina: “freediving goes beyond training: it’s a lifestyle”
In November 2014 Matt Malina broke the DNF world record by swimming a distance of 226m; a dive which took him 4 min 27 seconds. The Polish freediver is the first world record holder from his country, and also holds the title of the fourth deepest man of all time in Free Immersion. Matt was attracted to the sport, like so many of us, by the silence, and the freedom of movement under the water, but what is it that separates him from so many others? What is it that has made him a freediving super-achiever?
“When my results just started getting better and better, I realised that I’m good at it, and I just followed this path” Matt firmly believes that when it comes to freediving, persistence is the key. “Many people train really hard and then they have a time when they do nothing. Like it’s a long time, like a month or 2 months. So they train in jumps, they train then they do nothing, then they train then they do nothing, and it’s not really working. In freediving, what’s working for me is I’m constantly thinking about training and improving: I just train most of the time when I can. I don’t have breaks during the year like where I don’t train for a few months.”
OK we’ve got it, to reach super-achiever level we’ve got to be persistent, no more slacking. Matt divides his training time between the pool and doing cross-fit at home: he believes that to be a good freediver it’s important to be physically fit; to have good strength and endurance, but how does he prepare immediately before a dive?
“I lay on my bed I visualise it, so when the actual dive happens, I’ve gone through it many times in my head so I’m not that stressed any more. I think going well prepared for the dive also gives you confidence so if you have confidence you are less stressed. So generally I try to think about anything, just to do my best That’s the best attitude you can have.”
For Matt, freediving goes beyond training; it’s a lifestyle:
“You overcome your own demons, own challenges. You set yourself a goal and then you reach this goal and that’s the great feeling. I think if someone is focused just on records, it won’t get them far. I think it’s good to focus on improving yourself in general”.
Matt, thanks for the inspiration, time to get in the water! We want to share that experience with you! Or maybe you can share your experience with us Either way, write us a comment below and tell us what freediving means to you or why you are interested in this amazing underwater experience. Like, share, tweet and comment on this post in order to help us spread the word about the incredible power of freediving and its effects on health, stress and life in general.