Who better to talk about water than an experienced, professional freediver committed to protecting such a familiar yet mysterious environment?
The Fondation Eau Neige et Glace – a foundation for the protection of water, snow, and ice – also works to raise awareness and explain how fragile this abundant resource really is! And their efforts are paying off! We are gradually understanding that respecting water in our daily lives is a responsible and highly effective initiative!
Let’s meet freediver Stéphane Tourreau and plunge into the subject!
Your sport is less mediatized than others. Could you tell us about it?
Freediving is a sport in which you totally submerge yourself to discover the underwater world while also constantly learning about who you are. It is a way to switch off, better understand your mind and body, and learn how to manage your effort and breathing through a range of styles and disciplines such as vertical, horizontal, and exploration!
What is your relationship with water in your daily life?
Water is a constant presence in my life and has been since I was a boy, whether in my name (eau, “water” in French), in my childhood environment surrounded by lakes and mountains, or in my first diving experiences on vacation. It helps me attain a profound state of emotional and physical relaxation. And it also teaches me about its almost magical ability to transmit information through the physical body or through the emotional self. After all, water is the link and conduit of life itself!
Has your sport given you any insight into water pollution today?
I remember the first time I went diving in the sea and all the underwater life I saw. Yet when I returned as an adult, so much of it had disappeared. I have seen enormous quantities of plastic while out exploring, and lakes that now contain fewer and fewer species.
What work do you do with the Fondation Eau Neige et Glace?
I have committed to lending my voice and support by connecting professional networks and offering video footage and personal accounts explaining how sensitive our environment is. I am also involved in future projects set to be launched very soon.
How have you contributed to raising awareness about alpine water?
I share my knowledge of my environment through the media and via video projects I am working on with my brother Grégory, a diver and hydrobiologist, and Mathias Lopez, a nature film director.
Do you think the goal set by the Fondation Eau Neige et Glace to use water without polluting it will be possible for everyone one day?
We will all have to commit to it if we want to survive. And the foundation is helping to protect this resource and raise awareness as fast as possible so each person can adapt their consumption habits and introduce positive habits into their daily lives!
What do you feel when you are freediving?
The feelings are always hard to describe because they are so sensitive.
Weightlessness, sinking, and intense concentration combine with the relaxation needed to accept the incompressible aquatic environment and the increasing pressure as you go deeper.
You first feel absorbed within your own little bubble, and the relaxed feeling that develops makes these sensations even stronger.
To be a successful freediver it is essential to focus on a single, powerful thought you choose before getting into the water. It is a little like meditation, and you keep it with you along this journey as you open your mind!