CNF seemed to be a purist form of freediving that I never appreciated. I've always had a feeling of apprehension when I dived with no fins. I reloaded too slowly my strokes too slowly, kicked too hard, the contractions came too early, and was always overwhelmed with fear. The strokes felt foreign.
That's what got me to sign up for Dean's workshop.
My sole objective was to learn how to learn how to reload correctly, i.e. the arm pull, but I learnt so much more during the class.
It started off with a comprehensive theory class in the morning, pool session in the afternoon and ended with stretching and meditation.
Dean went through CNF in detail, where to put our hands, when to kick our legs, what water resistance felt like when we pull the water, and how to leverage the glide before reloading. Essentially, why we are doing what are doing.
Allowing the water to be our teacher, we tested out the theories and practiced in the water. I was initially flooded with too many rights and wrongs in my mind, too technical about every move I made. Learning together with the rest of the gang helped. I went from anxious to amused by the mistakes that I was making. After all that laughing in the pool with the rest , I was able to throw the insecurities out of mind and just dive.
Slowly, I was moving naturally, automatically, unconsciously, without any personal intervention or awareness. I finally let go, relaxed and glide.