jody-fisher

She began free diving – a dual-discipline sport consisting of depth and pool diving, while unassisted and on one breath – in November last year and within 11 months broke eight national records and won two medals at free diving world championship events.

Fisher said the secret behind her success was yoga, a form of exercise she considers the most effective for free diving because it strengthens and flexes the diaphragm.

“You have to be so relaxed, so calm … With yoga it’s not only the mental skills, it’s testing your abdomen to be really flexible and really relaxed so that when you go down your body just bends and flexes instead of getting rigid.

“The discipline of depth diving can be completed using a monofin – a single fin that makes the diver look like a mermaid.Fisher has achieved a depth of 54m with the fin (constant weight with fins) and 52m without the fin (constant no fins), while also diving to a depth of 56m using a rope to pull herself down to the bottom (free immersion).

She currently holds the Australian women’s records for all free diving disciplines, although her preference is free immersion because of its relaxed nature. “The water in Kalamata (for the AIDA Depth World Championships in Greece) was 29C, with 30 to 40m visibility and it was crystal clear.

“It’s so just so beautiful andcalming and relaxing. It’s really wonderful.”The constant no fins is physically the hardest. The monofin has got a lot of power and you can go really fast.”AUSTRIAN Herbert Nitsch holds the current world record for the deepest dive with fins at 124m, while New Zealander William Trubridge dived 95m without fins – both in the Bahamas.

A fortnight after the event, Fisher picked up a surprise gold medal at the Pool World Championships in Italy after swimming breaststroke for 150m underwater in an Olympic swimming pool. Her rise in the sport’s rankings has been astronomic, and while she harbours an ambition to get to No. 1 in the world, she said it could not be done without sponsorship and funding.

Photo above: Australian champion freediver Jody Fisher with grey nurse sharks at Melbourne Aquarium. Picture: Alex Coppel

Story rights: Adelaide Now. Original article here.

Next year she will train with several free diving world-record holders and world champions in New Zealand, then head to the Bahamas for more depth-diving training.”I want to have a go at no fins, in particular, and see what I’m capable of because 53m is a really deep dive and I came up as fresh as a daisy.”I love no fins. Most people don’t like it. It’s the purest form of diving.

It’s just you and water.”She said there was some misconception about the dangers of the sport, particularly regarding hypoxia.

“There has never been someone who has died in training except when they have been training without a buddy and without safety.

“The risks are really, really easy to manage. You are never going to run out of oxygen on the bottom. You’re only going to after you’ve got to the surface and started breathing or possibly just before you get to the surface.”It’s probably safer than cycling on the road.”

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