Growing up in the middle of Washington State, all my diving began in lakes and rivers. As a kid, we would hit golf balls into the lake and then take a little inflatable boat and freedive to retrieve them. It was during this when I realized that I was diving deeper and staying under longer than all my friends. To this day I still don't know how I learned it (I didn't even know it was a thing back then), but somehow I taught myself to do hands free equalization.
Fast forward after college and some travels around the world and I found myself living and working in the Philippines. It was there where I decided to take my first official freediving class. I'd never pushed myself to do deeper dives, fight the urge to breathe, or even learn how to do all the techniques for longer dives, but it all came very easy and natural to me. It was during that time I realized I absolutely loved doing this. The quietness and calmness of being deep under was like my meditation and relaxed me. I found myself just lying on the bottom at 30m on days and places looking up at the surface and feeling all the stress from the week of work disappear.