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Diving headfirst into life: How does freediving change lives

Diving headfirst into life: How does freediving change lives

Life, as complex as it is, is a vehicle and a journey all in one. With the driver being none other than each individual within their own unique life. The meaning and purpose of life are defined by none other than us. It is entirely subjective. Our experiences and our environment are some of the factors. It can help us in defining and search for the meaning of our lives. Likewise, the paths we spontaneously stumble upon also become vital in what makes life as it is, just like what freediving has done in changing lives.

Self Discovery

For 32-year-old Maria Charmy Segales, the ocean, its waves, and tides became the cultivators of the catalyst of the story of her life. Thanks to what’s beyond the shore, she found the art of freediving. Since then, her life has never been the same, in the best way possible.

Career alignment and stability in adulthood are not guaranteed success. Unfortunately, much to a lot of millennials and Gen Z’s dismay. The statement was applicable to Charm. As an executive assistant, agency owner, and freelancer, she experienced a lot of business-related obstacles. These include losing many clients in  January 2022. To quote her words,

“Sa totoo lang, mas masakit mawalan ng clients kesa mawalan ng jowa.”

As it can be told, it wasn’t an easy time. In fact, she feels depressed because of her situation during those times. She is overworking herself, working during the night. She treated seeing and being under the sun as a luxury, much less taking some time off to travel and unwind such as the beach. Needless to say, she found herself scrolling through a solo traveling group on Facebook. Looking for a quick and nearby two-day weekend out-of-town beach trip. Lo and behold, she found someone who was looking for the same thing as she was.

It is in the comments section of a post for a beach trip package where it all started. There, she not only discovered someone looking for the same thing she was but also a video of underwater swimming. She found out it was a swimming lesson. She ended up agreeing because she didn’t know how to swim. After all, it’s a life skill, right?

Unexpected paths

Fast forward to the beach trip that took place in Balai Lawom, Mabini, Batangas. Charm found out that there would be diving involved which is ironic, considering she didn’t know how to swim in the first place. At 8:00 am on January 5, 2022, she could feel her doubts creeping up the sand’s surface, whether she should go ahead. The waves reminded her of La Union’s vibe, surfing even being a possibility. Despite her not having a choice anymore because she has already paid. She was up for a great surprise that helped shape her entire 2022.

That same weekend was the same time she found her newfound love for freediving. Peace and relaxation came to her. Almost like how yoga used to do to her which she did years prior but was halted due to her workload. February 2022 rolled around. She mixed diving with traveling which is also something she was passionate about/ Diving just had to be included in the itinerary. In June, she ended up taking a month-long break from work. She spent her time traveling in Mindanao and Visayas. This, of course, turned out to be the best so far in her entire travel history.

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She didn’t stop there, going back to Manila come August of the same year, taking up a freediving certification class, enhancing her skills, and letting her find more free diving havens sites such as Coron, Bohol, Cebu, and Mindoro. Charmy did not even expect that her love for freediving will encourage her to invest in diving gear and equipment to further enhance her skills. She has recently purchased personalized diving fins from Shore Fins that she will be using on her future dives.

A new journey

Freediving gained a lot of meaning for Charmy. For one, it acted as a form of therapy, which helped her overcome her depression. Through this, she was able to make her life more meaningful. It accelerated her travels to the best they can be and gave her happiness and self-discovery. Freediving allowed her to find authentic self-love. The friends she made through her freediving journey are also part of its impact, and she has also influenced a lot of her friends to try freediving for themselves.

The photo was taken at the famous Bohol Plane Wreck

“10 years from now my older self would be so proud that she did it.  I am currently completing the Advanced Padi Certification and learning new techniques as well. Who knows maybe I will pursue being an instructor in the future”. shares Charmy.

For Charmy, what was essentially packed with uncertainty became a risk that came greatly into fruition. Taking the chance on a weekend getaway led to something that was worth it. Perhaps, on certain occasions, diving headfirst is the key to life.

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