I have been a life long swimmer and almost anything water related brings me great joy. Especially if that water is the open ocean. For me, being immersed in a giant blue void, brings freedom and tranquility. Even if the sea is rough, it calms my soul. Adam Skolnick sums it up perfectly in these lines:
“For those who don’t just love, but need the ocean, each surf, swim, paddle, or dive can be a baptism. It can wash away the dread and pain, loss and confusion of the day and deliver pure elemental connection, remind them that no matter what else is happening in their world, the ocean exists — in all its beauty, mystery, and fury.”
I first found out about the sport of freediving when I read Deep. Since then, I have become slightly enamored with a sport. The idea of being completely surrounded, away from chaos, and one with the water is compelling.
In One Breath by Adam Skolnick, he pulls the reader into a journey, delving deeper into the world and intricacies of this amazing sport, where people dive countless meters under the ocean’s surface on a single breath. His writing makes you feel as though you are a part of the community and have been standing on the sidelines at these events. The book focuses specifically on the life and tragic demise of Nicholas Mevoli, an accomplished freediver, and the first to die during a competition. The question that is raised is, what went wrong?
Skolnick weaves together a beautiful story, pulled together through first hand accounts from friends, family, and the freediving community. The reader is pulled in to the world of competition and can relate to the desire to push human limits and break records. You will become breathless in Skolnick’s description of the dives, as you read ever more rapidly, yearning to find out if the diver will black out or make it back to earn a white card. You will see the battle that rages inside an athlete over where to draw the line between acknowledging safety and giving in to the stubborn will to achieve despite pain. Lastly, you will experience the joy and grief of the freediving community.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.