Walter Chivescu came out to join us on 28th Sept for 14 days training in FIM. I had met Walter nearly a year ago and was extremely impressed. Walter is the Master (Captain) of a very large tanker. Walter is a man of many facets, an old world Gentleman, an extremely educated man and an extremely nice one.
Walter had been to Eilat on 2 previous occasions for training with another instructor for periods of 10 days. He had not succeeded in mastering the Frenzel technique not withstanding intensive research on the internet and the ineffective efforts of his previous instructor who apparently couldn’t find a solution and actually compounded the problem.
Walter is extremely intelligent and very determined, this is a hard proposition for a trainer because the intelligence feeds on logic, and if logic is frustrated the psychology can quickly become obsessive which leads to a permanent level of stress. The stress in turn becomes a major obstacle to equalisation.
Walter also undertook the challenge of adapting to the nose clip from the beginning. No small feat!
It was apparent from the start that equalising was coming too slowly, he was dwelling on each maneuver and exerting too much effort. One could hear these efforts at depth. I suspected he was swallowing air. This is deceptive because it looks from the outside as if someone is doing Valsalva, each equalisation becomes slower and takes more effort and sometimes 1 ear doesn’t go.
On examination it was obvious that everything that was happening in the mouth was correct.
As soon as Walter became aware of the swallowing problem, there was an immediate mini break through and depths improved. Walter was never challenged by breath hold and had, prior to arrival, been doing our stress breath hold exercises.
Now from the new information that we were on the right track, the question was why he needed to fill up again so shallow and so often. Conclusion – a leaky epiglotis! We have a very effective and simple exercise for improving this situation (no, not the Fattah method with all due respect to Eric).
Now came a major break through 36mts with a speed approaching 0.8 mts per second, acceptable for FIM.
But time was running out, I am certain give another 2 days the magic 40mts would have been passed.
It was a treat watching the mixture of intelligence and perseverance overcoming each obstacle in turn. Well done Walter, I believe you will go a long way!