Motivation, Training and Goals…

I’ve always told my students how beneficial it is to have extremely motivating and inspiring goals to help them push through the hard training sessions and to keep their minds positive and focused…

I also learned in the military that you never ask someone to perform a task which you cannot perform yourself…  with this in mind I thought it appropriate to write a short post letting you all know what I have been up to over the last six months and what I am super excited about for the future!

After finishing the Caribbean Tour onboard Kuhela with legend sailor, adventurer and human Josh Knox, I arrived in Australia well trained and feeling fit, I had a goal of setting some new PB’s in Constant Weight bi-fins and no fins in the middle of 2014 so I wanted to keep my fitness levels growing with extremely specific training, focusing on spending as much time as I could in the ocean and steering away from pool training. 

 Josh and I diving an offshore atoll in Belize

Josh and I diving an offshore atoll in Belize

The months of December through to April was full of running some great waterman and freediving courses (I must admit I am not the best at the social media update stuff, sorry about that!)… Its great running these courses regularly as it keeps me in the training frame of mind and gives me the opportunity to be involved in Apnea training whilst teaching, but I had to constantly remind myself that this did not count as a training session!

With the help of a few great mates like Anthony Superina, Lucas Handley and Peter Derham  I was able to keep myself motivated, positive and push the CO2 tables at least 3 times a week with the rest of the week being made up of core strength work, long slow distance training and intervals.

 Anthony, Chris, Will and I after a training session in Byron

Anthony, Chris, Will and I after a training session in Byron

Then came along Simone Green... an amazing human, freediver and all round waterwoman from South Africa, she came at such a good time as it gave me extra motivation to train harder with an amazing new training partner and she also came with some amazing advice on Apnea specific training with her years of experience training with some of the world’s best freedivers. Through meeting Simone I found myself with a ticket to Egypt and training with the infamous Umberto Pellizzari and attending an Apnea Academy instructor’s course, attending a stage with Umberto Pellizari and finally in Dahab training with Jonathan Sunnex from New Zealand! Truly the most amazing opportunity I have ever had in my 20 years in the sport of freediving. I am so humbled and grateful to have this amazing opportunity… 

 Descending into the Blue Hole in Egypt

Descending into the Blue Hole in Egypt

I also experienced something brand new… a new feeling of humble. I always feel a sense of humbleness being surrounded by such amazing free divers, waterman and waterwoman like in the Caribbean at the Vertical Blue Competition, in Victoria training with the big wave charges or in Egypt training with Apnea Academy. My new feeling of humbleness was after over training leading up to the Apnea academy course and subsequently falling ill in Egypt… On a training camp with Jonathan Sunnex, lying on my back, breathing up for a 60m monofin attempt and turning at 50m feeling tired and weak… and arriving at the surface saying to myself, hey Joe, its cool, just let go and accept this is where your body is at. As easy as it sounds, it was frustrating at the time but such a good feeling after accepting it. This really brought me back to what was most important… enjoying the ocean!

 Being humbled by impressive waterman like Skeeta Derham, Russell Ord, Luke Burnes and Grady Fink in Victoria

Being humbled by impressive waterman like Skeeta Derham, Russell Ord, Luke Burnes and Grady Fink in Victoria

It was to no surprise that with Apnea Academy being the birth place of modern freediving, the first freediving school, and carrying the knowledge of the late Jacque Mayol through the words and wisdom of Umberto Pellizari, that the Instructors course was the most physically and mentally challenging freediving experiences I have had, with Umberto Pellizari and the other amazingly talented instructors testing all my skills and knowledge as a freediver and a teacher to obtain the instructors rating and being part of an amazing apnea family. The freedivers I spent time with in Egypt were some of the most upstanding humans I have ever met… positive, humble, professional, extremely talented and inspiring.

 Long days of Static Apnea Training at the Apnea Academy Instructors Course with Umberto looking on.

Long days of Static Apnea Training at the Apnea Academy Instructors Course with Umberto looking on.

 Apnea Academy Instructors Course Graduation

Apnea Academy Instructors Course Graduation

 Training Camp with Jonathan Sunnex in Dahab

Training Camp with Jonathan Sunnex in Dahab

The opportunity of becoming an Apnea Academy Instructor not only means great training to be had because of the extreme motivation to sustain the highest level of freediving fitness and knowledge but also an amazing opportunity for One Ocean to expand its Freediving training potential and with it the level of Freediving education.

So, what’s happening at the moment??

  • A Facebook page called One Ocean Waterman has been developed so that all past and present One Ocean students can keep in touch and organize training sessions, dives, surf’s and all round awesome adventures!
  • New and revised waterman and freediving courses running up and down the east coast of Australia.
  • Tonga on the 16th July to run a One Ocean Freediving Safety and Rescue Course and research the whale swims and ocean adventuring for camps in October and December.
  • Running a combined camp with the awesome Fiona Duncan from Wahine on Waves from the 7th until the 10 August
  • Running workshops at the Byron Bay Surf Festival with Russell Ord…
  • Continuing to provide services to volunteer organizations like Sea Shepherd and I Am Water Conservation Trust

Yes!! Exciting and motivating times ahead! Personally I need these adventures to look forward to, to keep me honest in following my passions whilst keeping me motivated and focused.

In regards to my goals… Being stoked! Training hard, continuing to work on all the disciplines of watermanship; freediving, surfing, windsurfing, ocean swimming… and for One Ocean… to continue following the values of the organization:

  • Increasing awareness of the marine environment
  • Promoting a positive, active and healthy lifestyle
  • Creating a positive, pro-active and aware safety culture
  • Maintaining a strong connection to people, cultures and the environment.


But moreover continuing to build a waterman family who respects the ocean and value great company, encouraging each other and others to keep positive, motivated and to continue achieving their goals and dreams…

Thanks for reading and look forward to getting in the ocean with you all soon!!!


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