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The film that literally takes your breath away.....

Have you ever done something that you felt super proud of that you couldn't wait to share with the world?

Last year I was in Trinidad filming a new freediving program offered to at-risk-youth as part of the non-profit Waves For Hope. The film will be showing as part of the Maine Outdoor Film Festival on Sunday July 28th.

If you're not familiar with freediving, it's the practice of diving underwater while holding your breath. This might cause some people to immediately feel claustrophobic and anxious. But for me, and others who embrace the sport, it's the only place in my life where I feel calm, relaxed and at peace.

Waves for hope was started by local Trinidadian and professional surfer Chris Dennis, who found that surfing and other sports created safe spaces for local youth to build healthy relationships, develop coping skills and improve confidence and self-esteem. He has since expanded the offerings to include freediving.

Mindfullness was always a part of their programming, doing what he calls a "take 5," where upon arrival the group collectively gets quiet and takes 5 breaths to check in with themselves. Freediving is a sport that requires relaxation and body awareness (try holding your breath after exerting yourself, and you'll understand why). Because of this, the sport naturally lends itself to reducing anxiety, creating mechanisms for calming yourself.

I hope you join me on Sunday July 28th for the screening of this short film - learn more about the impact this amazing organization is having, and see some of the beautiful images I captured from Trinidad.

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