Problem solving friends

BA

So can you guess what this is for? I’ll give you a minute, then you can scroll down…

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OK, so I surf every Saturday. Many Saturdays the surf is small & I don’t have a problem. Some days the surf is a little bigger & sometimes I feel a little nervous. Occasionally the surf is massive, and on days like that I chicken out! It’s not that I fear being dumped that much. My experience so far has shown that being dumped doesn’t really appear to hurt much. My big fear is drowning! You get dumped, you get held down, and you can’t make it back up for air… there is nothing worse than the feeling than being “rag dolled” by a wave and panicking about getting a breath.

But there are two things that have helped me.

#1 – On one particular day I was trying to psyche myself up to get out there, when a mate called Brendon saw me on the beach & said g’day. I told him about my concern, & he have me the best surf advice I’ve ever had. He said “watch some of the surfers out there, particularly the ones who get dumped. When you see a guy go under, count how many seconds they stay underwater. I bet you it’s rarely more than 10 seconds and often much less…. but when you get dumped, it FEELS like it’s forever.”

He was right. Ever since, if I get dumped I start counting, and the longest I have ever been down was 13 seconds, and that was on a wave that would have had a 10-foot face! The advice has also helped with rips & things like that. Rather than freak out & let my anxiety be the cause of a difficult situation, I count slowly, breathe calmly and realise I can always get myself out of situations (so far).

#2 And now we come to this device. I was saying to my mate Colin that my biggest concern is that I can’t hold my breath for a long time, and I don’t have the kind of time I would like to put serious work into my cardio. At some point we remembered that there are breathing regulators you can buy that you can use during the day that restrict your airflow, make you work harder to breathe and can therefore increase your lung capacity. A search on the internet, however, showed that they are pretty expensive.

One night Colin turned up at church with the hose fitting in his hand. I had no idea what it was, but he told me it was a flow regulator… but of course, there is no reason why it wouldn’t also regulate air! I had a SCUBA regulator mouthpiece from another failed project. Throw in a zip tie & now I have a breathing regulator so I can improve my lung capacity whilst working on sermons!

The last thing to add is one of those little nose clips that synchronised swimmers use. They are between $5-$10. For a princely sum of $15, I have a fun little tool to help me breath better, AND help me surf better.

Thanks Colin. I thank God for problem solving friends like you!

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