Freediving is something I have been doing since I was 10 years old. Back then we called it looking for change at the bottom of the diving well. We did not use masks or fins, but could use the diving board to aid our descents.
The diving pool at Olympic Swim and Racquet Club was 16 feet deep and I did not know about clearing my ears to relieve the pressure. At the beginning of the season, the pressure would be nearly unbearable, but as the season went on my head adjusted to the depth. I would stay down for a minute or so at a time and definitely got whistled at (not in the good way) by the lifeguards upon surfacing for staying down too long. I never really understood what they were so upset about. I figured if they could see me moving and being active at the bottom of the pool, then I was obviously doing ok down there.
Fast-forward 10-15 years and I have found myself yet again, going as deep as I can stand. Instead of finding money at the bottom for candy, the goal now is to spend as much time a part of the underwater world as I can.
The first week I was in Maui, I spent almost an entire hour-long snorkel trying to get through an arch at Turtle Town. I had it in my mind that as long as I could hold my breath, I could get to any depth. This arch was about 35-40 feet down and I really thought my head was going to explode when I got down there. It did not get more comfortable as I continued to try to swim through that arch. I did not make it through that day. I doubt I went past 30 feet. I have since gone through that arch and gone down to 66 feet according to a dive watch. By the end of the summer I plan to have dove 100 feet with fins and 80 feet without.