With an average of 2 to 4 minute breath hold while free diving at work, and working 8 to 12 hours a day submerged underwater. With this level of daily endurance, both physical and mental training, to safely understand the limits of holdings ones breath deep at the bottom of the lagoon.
By not moving around Melissa saves precious energy and even though the pressure of being at ground level adds to the level of resistance your body needs air quicker, Melissa like the challenge of it. By allowing people to see her up close and witness this live at aquariums guest can walk away with a new appreciation for the skilled divers who are recreating the same conditions that the original pearl divers did holding their breath for minutes at a time diving.
Mermaid Melissa continues to hold the female breath holding record the the free diving venue and claims she is only in competition with herself.
“I do not have any preplanned out records that I try and set. I train every day to maintain my breath hold, and sometimes when the right conditions come into play, I will hold by breath a little longer. Today just happen to be the right day to beat my own record that was 4:18 in this same aquarium years ago.”
As for pushing for hire records Melissa, claims that there is no rush but she’s not ruling it out. “I have reached 5 minutes in a pool where I can concentrate and have the time to properly set myself up to go the extra time underwater. I always have a safety diver, buddy-system, or coworker with me. Having a skilled person next to me is the best way to practice safety with is always my number one concern. No, Matter how good you think you are, you are never to good to not have someone watching your back.”
Moving forward Melissa had advice for those looking to exceed the average breath hold which is only 20 seconds. First have someone with you at all times when in the water, secondly, train with a certified or licensed professional who can guide you on what you need to work on to slowly increase your breath holding time. Melissa claims that every person has their strengths and does not encourage practicing breath holding techniques.
“For me, this is part of my daily job requirement to use the power and strength of my lungs to hold my breath continuously all day. I have to work on this to perform to the best of my ability both as a free diver and real-life professional mermaid for hire. With out a background in training to swim, breath holding isn’t going to come easy. If your goal is to try your hand at pushing yourself to try breath holding techniques, just remember to be safe and know your own limits. Everyone is built unique and not everyone’s lungs will be built for this.”
Much like a person working out at a gym, Melissa explains it that her “lungs of steal” are from over 8 years performing on a regular basis. “Their is no secretes or magic behind it other than putting in the endless hours every day acclimating my body, mine, and heart to sync as one.”
With her traveling mermaid tanks she plans on using this breath hold of four minutes and thirty two seconds as a new way to showcase the power of the human bodes capabilities. There are world record breath holding champions who use several methods to achieve this goal, and Melissa says she’s only out to prove to herself that she can endure 4 to 5 minutes underwater for better performance per poses only.
She states it doesn’t get easier but does become more routine for her body to attempt each breath hold. “I get a lot of questions about the dangers and if I am loosing brain cells by holding my breath for so long? My answer is, that I am a very healthy person and I never take for-granted the risks involved. If it wasn’t for my body learning how to preserve the air needed, it could be unsafe, but my heart beat drops and keeps me from using up the precious air needed to remain in the safe zone. I know when to come up for and know not to push it.”
With this next to a video also creating a buzz of Melissa underwater holding her breath talking underwater for 2 minutes straight, it’s clear she knows how to make it look easy!
“It might seem like mermaid magic to be talking underwater but it was a one take shot we filmed to showcase my comfort level performing while breath holding.
It’s clear that we can look forward to many more exciting things from Melissa’s underwater adventures this summer and in the years to come!