#0 | WELCOME TO THE FREEDIVING JOURNAL

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Welcome to The Freediving Journal, Episode #0

My name is Donny, I’m a freediving athlete, coach and educator and the host of The Freediving Journal and The Freedive Cafe podcasts.

The Freediving Journal Podcast is the ultimate source of knowledge and entertainment for the breath-hold divers of the world. Join my guests and myself for deep dives into freediving technique, science and lifestyle. Enjoy monthly news dispatches from the freediving universe. Get together for entertaining live streams with elite freedivers and breath-hold beginners, alike.

You can find the podcast at freediveandthrive.com/journal and of course, on all good podcast players. 

All right, here we are. The Journal has landed. Most of you who are listening will already be familiar with The Freedive Cafe Podcast, so if you are a regular listener to that show, then welcome back, old friends, good to have you here.

Some of you may be discovering this freediving podcast for the first time, if so, then welcome whole-heartedly to this exciting new project.

Everyone might be wondering, what is this new project all about, Donny, and why? Don’t you already have a freediving podcast?

Good questions. Let’s answer them!

So The Freedive Cafe is almost 6 years old. Can you believe that?! That’s more than half a decade! Unbelievable. And it’s been very well received in the freediving community over the years. Those long-form interviews with the world’s most interesting freediving athletes, coaches, scientists, journalists and safety and medical personalities now number around 130 episodes. I believe, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think The Freedive Cafe now constitutes the largest source of pure freediving information in the world, and I’m very proud of what we achieved there, and I will continue to release Freedive Cafe interviews into the future, but for many years I have been desiring to do another freediving podcast, a show that focuses not on the individuals and their stories, but something more like the kind of magazine I would read in the 90’s when I was a kid. News, deep dives into topics, multiple guests, fun banter and sharing more of my own personal story of how freediving has and is transforming my life and the way I see the world, and how amazing it is that it can do that.

I was derailed in getting this project started a couple of times down the years. In part due to a real lack of vision for how I could make this not only the best podcast in the freediving community, but how I could make an exceptional sports and education podcast, in general. And of course there were the energy and time that went into the semi-failed Thrivers Podcast project where I foolishly attempted to leave my freediving comfort zone, my niche, and that podcast ultimately proved to be non-productive.

But over the last year, the vision for the Journal began to become clearer and a lot of important elements came together to make it possible. Partly, my connections in the community are now strong enough that calling on the right people to contribute is quite easy, and also my own personal development and ability in and understanding of this sport, has I believe, matured now to the point where I feel confident enough to stand behind my own opinions and knowledge and experience of freediving, to be a better direct educator. I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf, but I also finally accepted that I could make a better podcast if I occasionally called on some friends to do some co-hosting for me and take on some of the research, so we can bring you the best experience possible.

So here we are, The Freediving Journal has arrived, and I’m very excited to share it with you.

So I will now explain the format of this new project because like a magazine, it has different sections, with different goals.

First of all, we have the Deep Dive episodes. Deep Dives will focus on a topic in freediving technique or science or lifestyle or history. It’s meant to be the ultimate educational experience, where I bring onto the show a selection of experts to discuss their ideas about the topic. To bring in varying opinions and strategies and experiences so you can better develop a more well-rounded understanding of a topic. And I’ll use my own experience and knowledge of the topic to tie everything together in a neat package, or at least that’s the plan. For example, the first of these Deep Dives, will be Episode #3 and the topic is mouthfill. I have spent hours interviewing a fine array of freediving athletes and coaches on this topic. Andrea Zuccari, Federico Mana, Sara Campbell, Julia Mouce, Aharon Solomons, Marco Nones and more! If the final episode is a fraction as interesting and educational for you guys as it was for me, then I think we’re onto a winner here.

Next up, we have the News Dispatch, which we aim to put out once a month. In this episode myself and a co-host discuss the news in the freediving community, the events, the competitions and competition results and even some PBs and personal experiences from listeners.  The first News Dispatch, for March 2022, will be out today. This is not the BBC, so don’t expect a high degree of journalistic professionalism and impartiality from my end, it’s meant to be a little bit irreverent, as that’s what I do well, but my co host, Jordy Blair out of Australia, will be doing her best to keep me in line.

And then we have the Live Stream Get Togethers, this is kind of like a combined Training Talk Discussion and entertaining banter session. The basic premise is that myself, representing the intermediate level diver and Canadian athlete Sheena McNally, a massively popular guest in the Freedive Cafe podcast, representing the elite level divers, get together and discuss our latest training schedule, lifestyle hacks and mistakes and basically just have a good ol’ laugh. We’ll be inviting one Patreon supporter to each meeting to ask anything they want and join in the fun, and we’ll be opening up to questions sent in online, too. It’s meant to be irreverent, entertaining, not too serious, and educational all at the same time. At the very least, it’ll be a lot of fun.

And then there will be the random episodes dropping from time to time where I get into a topic or event or discussion in a bit more detail, in a shorter-form episode. For example, I just received a whole bunch of new research on hypoxia, and look forward to having the author of those studies come on and explain to us what they have learned.

So that’s the plan, and everything is well under way to carry out the plan, and you can expect Freediving Journal episodes to be dropping quite regularly in the coming weeks and months.

All aspects of this new project are meant to have the quality of evolving over time, to create a better listening experience. We encourage you to get in touch with ideas, questions, suggestions, and especially for the News Dispatch episodes, any interesting news or happenings that you think we should report on.

To report on freediving news please email us at news@freediveandthrive.com

For all other questions and enquires please email me at donny@freedivandthrive.com

And let me make it clear that The Freediving Journal is, like The Freedive Cafe made possible by the Patreon supporters. In fact, if you are already a Patreon supporter for The Freedive Cafe, then you’re automatically a supporter of The Journal, it’s the same account. Patrons can expect to get a ton of extra content and bonuses. For example, of the 4 or so hours of interviews I recorded for the mouthfill Deep Dive, less than an hour of that will make it to the final episode, but everything else will be made available to Patrons.

I would really like, although I can’t make any promises, to keep sponsors off this new podcast. I want to keep that side out of it, unless the partnership and the offer is really sincere and sits well with me, because to be honest, it never feels 100% right, so continued support from patrons will be greatly appreciated and important as we move forward.

To support the Journal and the Cafe, go to patreon.com/freedivecafe

You can also follow the podcast through my personal Instagram account, @freediveandthrive. There is an official Facebook page, The Freediving Journal and Freedive Cafe Podcasts, where I’ll post updates. And then there is the Facebook group The Freediving Journal and Freedive Cafe Community Forum which is meant to serve as a place for fans of the show to discuss episodes and engage with myself and the guests.

Big love to you all wherever you may dive, and dive safe x