In the Mayan jungle. Rich, thick, mythical, ancient jungle. A crack in the rocks uncovers a beautiful, crystal clear, blue water whole. The Pit, the most famous cenote of all.
In the water. I breath deeply. Really deeply. I take one last breath and then invert myself. I swim down…20, 30ft, every movement is deliberate, considered. 35ft….40, and then I stop moving. Total surrender. The pressure makes my body heavy, so I let go and let gravity take me down. 50ft…..the water hugs you as the pressure increases to 2, 3 atmospheres…..60, 70ft….80….100ft…as I pass 110ft I feel my self transformed.
My mind is clear, calm, I am in a meditative state. I feel total connection with the water around me, connection with the molecules of every drop to be precise. This nurturing, calm sensation runs through my being. A humbling feeling surrounds me. My soul smiles.
At the same time, my body is going through the fastest and most dramatic transformation of any sport. The mammalian reflex takes over. My heart rate has slowed down, my brain reroutes my blood flow away from my arms and legs and focuses on my heart and brain, my spleen starts to over produce red blood cells.
I reach my depth. Slowly turn around. For a few seconds I see the trees at the bottom of this magical world. These trees are really branches that over millions of years have a crated a world of their own.
It has been 01:15, time to swim up. The pressure of 4 atmospheres has contracted my lungs to the size of a large orange. My body feels heavy, but somehow I feel strong, in control. I have been here before. With every kick I feel lighter. My mind slowly comes back to itself. The water becomes lighter, brighter.
I break the surface. Deep exhales, quick exhales. Again. I feel complete calmness, like waking up from a deep and real dream. My brain and soul reconnect with the world above the water. Somehow I feel more alive, aware.
The Mayans believed the cenotes were the door to another world. They were so right. There is a mythical, beautiful, deep world down there. And freediving has given me the opportunity to open that door.
Rodrigo Martinez is passionate about biology + design + the future. He is Chief Marketing & Design Officer at Veritas Genetics. He is a freediver and makes a mean guac & margaritas. @RodrigoATCG