I started free-diving when I was six. I got a spear gun when I was eight. When you free-dive, you descend anywhere from 30 to 100 feet. You wear weights to help get you down. Once you pass 30 feet, the buoyancy changes, and you get sucked in and then it’s like you’re skydiving in the water. I’ll dive really deep, find a rock, sit by it, and wait for the fish to come to me.
Free-diving is kind of like cycling in that it’s all about your heart and your lungs and your mind—trying to stay in control of your body. You’re enduring a lot of pain, but in the end, if you do it right, it’s all worth it.
Last year was the first year I raced without an injury. Before that, I always had something I was dealing with … tendonitis, a broken wrist, a broken hand. I raced in Gila two weeks after breaking my wrist. Every day I was taping up before going out there. I was super nervous to race like that, but I had to do my job.
Now? To race with no broken bones, no injuries … I’m ready to dominate. If my body is working—if I feel good—then I’ll step up and take the chance.
My job is to drive the sprinter. I put him in the right position to cross the finish line first. So if I do my job 100 percent, then the sprinter will for sure win. It’s a lot of pressure, but I’m ready for it.