Juan Valdivia, the national record in freediving who battled in the depth of the sea | News

Breaking all the laws of gravity, Juan Valdivia, who is a neurosurgeon, subspecialist in complex and reconstructive surgery of the spine and in oncological neurosurgery, set a new national record in depth apnea by descending 69 meters with the strength of his legs and with a single breath of air.

To learn more about Juan Valdivia’s feat, the 69 meters are seven times more than the highest platform for Olympic diving (jumping from that height would be deadly), that distance is the equivalent of a 20-story building.

Valdivia is a national athlete who holds the national record in monofins and bifins, both of 69 meters in depth apnea.

“Freediving changed my life. You think that you have everything figured out, for example, I was already a neurosurgeon when I met her. But apnea touches you. When one feels the free fall (freefall) and is lost, one stays”, indicates the doctor graduated from the University Cayetano Heredia in 2002 and neurosurgeon trained at the University of Arizona, University of Michigan and current chief of Neurosurgery at St Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa Florida.

This feat led him to obtain the Peruvian national apnea record. Freediving or apnea (freediving) is a sport that consists of holding your breath underwater and submerging to the greatest possible depth with a single inhalation.

Opening your eyes and being completely alone at a depth of 69 meters might seem scary, but for the neurosurgeon and freediver it is more than satisfying.

Valdivia recounted that at first the competition made him very nervous, but now he sees things differently.

“I learned that the secret for the human body to carry out a difficult activity is 80% in mental preparation. I began to learn mental self-programming techniques, concentration of attention and other very interesting techniques, such as those of the author Eckhart Tolle, to separate the individual from his thoughts”.

By putting his mental training into practice, the neurosurgeon was able to see his thoughts as a cloud from which he could part and the anxiety about competition left. It was then that he lowered the 69 meters of the Peruvian national record, president of AIDA Peru.

“I remember when an anxious thought would come to me on the competition platform, already in the water, just before starting the dive, my mantra was: ‘That’s just a mental formation and it’s going to go away, like little waves on the Water”pointed out to LATAM MEDIC magazine

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Published: 1/5/2023

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