How We Were Shown That “Impossible” Is Not a Word That the Human Body Recognizes
Besides our heart beating, breathing is the only thing we do non-stop from the day we’re born and throughout our life. Yet, a man decided to prove that with a lot of practice and steely determination, anything can become possible, including stopping breathing for over 17 minutes. David’s fascinating journey teaches us that the key to reaching our dreams is to never give up believing in our incredible capacities and inner strength.
Bright Side wants to share the inspiring story of a man who pushed the limits and triumphed against all odds.
David Blaine: more than just magic
The 49-year-old David Blaine is an illusionist and extreme performer who has broken several world records. In 2008, on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he held his breath for 17 minutes and 4.5 seconds inside an acrylic 6.8-cubic-meter water tank.
The breathing technique
During a TED Talk, Blaine explained that he endlessly researched ways to make this almost impossible-looking dream come true. This is how he learned about pearl divers, who do static apnea, which means holding their breath for as long as possible in one place without moving.
So Blaine began to repeat the following exercise for days in order to train his body for the big day.
- Purging for a minute, (a strong exhalation and a faster inhalation), in order to get the body rid of CO2 to make holding the breath easier
- Holding his breath for 5 minutes and 30 seconds
- Repeating the process 8 times in a row in a 52-minute time frame
Blaine also followed a strict diet in order to lose 50 pounds in 3 months. This weight change and the breathing training he was doing helped him to drop his resting heart rate to 38 beats per minute.
The big day
The long-awaited April 30th was finally here, and the extreme performer was inside the acrylic water sphere on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He explained that in the tenth minute of holding his breath, he started getting strong tingling sensations in his fingers and toes. Then his lips started to feel strange. And at the fourteenth minute, he was having contractions, urging him to breathe.
But despite it all, he was able to achieve his dream and stay without breathing for more than 17 minutes.
Why he did it
Blaine opened up, saying, “As a magician, I tried to show people that everything is possible.’’
He revealed that the secret formula to his success was ’’practice, training and experimenting.” He also admitted that he pushes through the pain to be the best that he can be, proving that all great achievements come with hard work, but the fulfilling joy of success makes it all worth it.
Are you inspired by David Blaine’s journey? What was one thing that seemed impossible at first but you were eventually able to achieve thanks to hard work and determination?