Today’s featured article brings us to an entirely new position from which to think about our own “limitations”.

After writing over 700 articles about the fact that this is still an amazing world (our motto here at everwideningcircles.com), I can tell you any notions that I once had about human potential are now wide open.

I fact check these pieces with serious rigor, and I have found there are the most extraordinary, yet ordinary people in this world who we should be hearing about but the mainstream media is just bringing us the fearful, angry people.

Today’s EWC article is the opposite of all that (as are our hundreds of other articles) and this could be one to just soak in for the sake of inspiring yourself to break out!

After connecting with all the thought leaders we have featured, there are a few things I know to be true:

  1. Any one of us can become a thought leader in any field, or even right in our own social circles, if we have better than average courage. Thought leaders rarely tell themselves fearful stories.
  2. Thought leaders celebrate small, incremental progress while they persevere relentlessly, especially through those lows when others would give up.
  3. Never tell a potential “thought leader” it can’t be done. Those are exactly the kinds of sentiments that drive them forward.

What about you? What drives you forward? Have you found your passion, but were limited by fears?

Think of an area of your life – physical or mental – that you would like to expand. Perhaps one that you perceive is fought with obstacles or complete barriers.

Now hold onto that thought and enjoy today’s EWC article. You may see your obstacles much differently. Enjoy…

First, we are going to take you on a very unique journey of possibility by introducing you to a few “regular folks” who found their way into an extraordinary sport and join the Free-diving Phenomenon.  Even if you think you might not be interested in this topic, hang in there with us today. The sport of diving deeper and deeper, with no air tanks, can be a metaphor for all our lives. (And the people we will introduce you to are crazy fun!)

They will demonstrate how we all can develop new ways of working with our own minds to incrementally break free of those infinite limitations we think we have.

We will soon introduce you to three people who were once like you and me: limited to swimming on the surface of life, in many ways. Then, each in their own way, they stumbled upon a doorway to possibility.

We’ll begin this adventure with pushing back self-imposed limitations by introducing a new friend of ours, Carlos Coste, and a neat little video of his.

Carlos became a friend of ours when my co-founder and husband (Dr. Chuck) walked into Carlos’s dive shop on the island of Bonaire, just out of curiosity. Fortunately, Carlos is as eager to connect with others as Dr. Chuck is, so before the end of the week, we were in Carlos’s home and then in 60 feet of water with him, learning the ropes on free diving ourselves.

Still confused about the sport of free diving? Let’s start with a film that shows Carlos breaking the free diving world record in a Cenote Cave in Mexico, during which he dives 150 meters (470 feet) horizontally through the limestone caves at a depth of 7 meters over 2 minutes and 32 seconds. (Once he starts, there’s no going back. There are no safety divers to assist, and no “do overs”.) Take a look:

Carlos is just as amazing in person as he is in the video. Unassuming and all smiles, he just so happens to hold eleven world records in different disciplines within this extreme sport of Free Diving.

During the day our family spent with Carlos, diving deeper and deeper, I knew we each had a personal, private battle going on with fear and panic. You know those times in life when you don’t get to choose, you just have to summon your best self, then go all in.

This was one of those times.

But in the end, it was a magical day of learning. Our kids were the perfect age (14 and 16) to take away some valuable life lessons. Learning to push beyond the boundaries that we have constructed for ourselves (that were not boundaries at all) gave us a whole new perspective on potential.

Image: Jens, Carlos, and Dr. Chuck in Bonaire next to Carlos' dive truck

Carlos taught us all to respects our limits, but never consider them a ceiling, and he showed us a way of getting ever deeper with incremental confidence.

Since then, I’ve come to celebrate small, but consistent daily gains, rather than expecting and pushing too much right out of the starting box.

And this is a GOOD POINT: Doesn’t it seem people try too often to be heroes, or worse… never try at all, out of fear that they can’t or won’t win straight off the starting block? I think that most of us don’t value the small gains and incremental learning. We want to be Tiger Woods, Steve Jobs, or Georgia O’Keeffe within days! We go at a new skill with the “weekend warrior” strategy and experience too much pain on the first attempt to ever go back and try again.

Image: The Ulrich-Verderbers' first day of freediving with the legendary Carlos Coste

Free diving was a lesson in learning to appreciate small, incremental victories in life.

You have no choice: You can descend a few meters, but the pressure on your eardrums forces you to pause to equalize, and then you want to go a little deeper, equalize again, and go a bit deeper. No shortcuts, no cheating the system. Then you burst back up to the surface, give yourself a high-five, and do it all again just for the thrill of those small wins!

By day’s end of our lesson with Carlos, we were all diving six- to twelve meters, but more importantly, we shared the moving experience of overcoming fear and the limits we believed we had. We arrived somewhere that we could never have imagined. And we know we can still go further.

And that’s part of the magic of Carlos Coste.

He took us all on a little journey into ourselves, that we could never have gone on without him. What a gift!

With that connection behind us, let’s get you started on your journey!

Here’s an amazing piece on the sport of free diving put together by 60 Minutes, highlighting not just the sport but the insights gained from folks like Carlos who are testing what we thought were the boundaries of the human body and mind.

Via: Osusim 2

At this point, my interest on the sport and the subject of free diving are piqued, and it moved way beyond the deep diving when I saw the opening 7m 50s of the following TED Talk from 2012 featuring Tanya Streeter, another world champion free diver. If you are short on time, just listen to the first 8 minutes. (You don’t want to miss our last video-share today!)

Let’s enjoy a little more about the beauty of this sport when it is not used to set records, but instead used to appreciate the natural world of which we sometimes forget we’re a part of. And if you can’t get enough of the breathtaking possibilities of free-diving, its potential impact, and its philosophies, here are a few more excellent video finds from EWC to you!

We at EWC hope you enjoyed this piece as much as the Ulrich-Verderber family enjoyed sharing a few stories that we will relish from our rocking chairs someday!

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Did you find yourself fascinated by this astonishing sport? Are you interested in reading about even more mind-blowing athletics? EWC has a whole category dedicated to crazy extreme sports, inspiring athletes, and superb stunts. Check it out!

EWC’s Sports Archive

 

Notes:

  1. “Carlos Coste World Record Freediver in a Cave in Mexico 2010.” Vimeo. Dan Burton Photography, 9 Nov. 2010. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. <https://vimeo.com/16654785>.
  2. “Tanya Streeter and William Trubridge in CBS’s 60 Minutes.” YouTube. 60 Minutes, 13 Jan. 2013. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeF7raKGYRQ>.
  3. Streeter, Tanya. “Tanya Streeter | TEDxAustin 2012.” YouTube. TEDx Talks, 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odIXWv1m2a8>.
  4. “Still.” Vimeo. Ruby Stocking, 5 June 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. <https://vimeo.com/43451504>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.