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Earlier this year Winsor Bishop announced that iconic watch brand TUDOR were launching their #BornToDare campaign.
The campaign centres around adventure and discovery, and has already featured famous faces such as David Beckham and the All Blacks rugby team.
“TUDOR wearers seek to find experiences that expand their worldview.” – TUDOR
With this in mind we worked closely with TUDOR and launched an incentive amongst the Winsor Bishop team, which was won by Donna Balls. Here Donna tells all –
“I felt a strange mix of emotions when I heard that I was the lucky member of the team to win the Tudor Born to Dare incentive.
The incentive was to travel to Athens with TUDOR and train and dive with World champion freediver Morgan Bourc’his. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I was excited, however at the same time realising that I would need to face my biggest fears.
I feared open water and especially its inhabitants.
I had rarely been in the sea throughout my 34 years due to these fears and now I was being invited to Free Dive, without breathing equipment in the unknown deep blue.
I willed myself to go, I needed to face these fears.
We were a group of 18 flying out of Heathrow, all filled with excitement and anxiety. With our TUDOR watches on we travelled to Athens and arrived late afternoon at the beautiful Cape Sounio Hotel. Nestled on its own private beach in the eye of the Poseidon Temple the resort was the perfect backdrop for the adventures ahead.
The first Morning we learned how to breathe!? Yes to Breathe.
Did you know, as adults we only use a fraction of our full lung capacity when breathing? In order to free dive we need to learn to use the diaphragm, so it was bellies out for everyone! It was then on with the wetsuits and goggles and time to train in the pool. Morgan was teaching us relaxation breathing techniques to help us hold our breath underwater for longer periods of time – I managed 1 minute 15 seconds in the end.
After lunch it was time to practise in the deep blue. We swam out to our boats and raced to where the depths were about 13-14 metres. Inflatable buoys were set out and we were in groups of three learning to equalize our ears, (pop them) to allow ourselves to go down to further depths.
By the end of the day had managed to reach 5 metres.
Day 2 and the competition was on. The night before we were all asked to declare our personal challenge depths to Morgan, which, if achieved would be recorded with the international freediving association. I set my target conservatively at 5 metres.
I was so nervous that morning, dreams of drowning had haunted me the night before. However, I was determined to hit my depth and banish all fears for good.
As the day before we swam out to the boats and went to depths of 27 metres. I was actually desperate to get back in the water again to start practising. During practise I had managed to get down to 7 metres which I was incredibly proud of.
My time came and I was counted down. Even though I was so nervous I had to calm myself down and start my breathing techniques. Ears equalised and down I went. Hitting 5 Metres, I felt a sharp pain in my left ear and knew I had to come up. However I had hit my depth and achieved my goal.
I can actually say I had the time of my life and I have returned a changed woman.
I was Born To Dare and am no longer fearful of the ocean, and now find myself wanting to go back to do it all again!”
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