Having never experienced any type of underwater activities before, I had no idea of what to expect at the Pocari Sweat Singapore’s Media Dive Clinic – held at the Queenstown Swimming Complex – earlier this week – to simulate the training experience of astronauts underwater in a deep pool. This was to tie in with the 2016 Launch of a Pocari Sweat Lunar Capsule to the Moon.
None of us knew what to expect at the Pocari Sweat Singapore Dive Clinic.
Photo Credit: Pocari Sweat.
I was fearful yet excited at the same time when we were instructed to change into our diving gear – the wetsuit, flippers and the diving vest with the oxygen tank, weighing about 5kg to 10kg each. Part of me had wondered, at this stage what I had signed myself up for, but there was another part of me that was relishing the challenge ahead.
And then when we were asked to sign the indemnity forms which listed down all the dangers involved with diving prior to going down into the 5m deep diving pool, it gave me a slight sense of trepidation and my highly imaginative mind then started to play havoc with me. However those feelings were gone in an instant though.
Our Diving Gear.
The actual diving
As for the actual diving itself, it had been certainly something that was quite new to me. It took me a while to get used to the feeling of breathing underwater. Biting down onto the snorkel and diving mask takes some effort too for someone who is not accustomed to the feeling – but I also had a slightly uneasy feeling within me, that if I did not bite hard enough, then the snorkel may come out of the mouth and I would not be able to breathe.
The actual diving was something that I had to get used to.
Photo Credit: Pocari Sweat.
One rule that we had been taught during the dive, was that we should never hold our breath when underwater. It took me some time to get accustomed to this, as I am not really used to inhaling and exhaling air when I am completely submerged.
Throughout the dive too, I was also quite scared that my hard contact lenses would come out – during one of the drills, when we were required to defog our diving mask underwater, one actually did get dislodged from my eye, and I had a really scary moment there – but fortunately the contact lens came out on my hand and not into the water, though! So I was able to retrieve it easily and put it back into my eye.
Later, the instructor told me that it’s better for divers to wear soft contact lens, or a prescription diving mask.
In short though, this is a completely different feeling to simply doing swimming – where you are positioned near the surface of the water and are coming up for air regularly.
We also learnt some basic signal codes for diving safety.
Photo Credit: Pocari Sweat Singapore.
During this introductory phase of the Dive Clinic, we had also learnt some basic signal codes for diving, descending and ascending safely, as well as getting used to moving and swimming underwater.
Though I realise that the the flippers are supposed to aid with movement underwater, I somehow found them to be cumbersome and harder to move around. For some reason, they had appeared to be hindering me instead. Probably that was because I wasn’t really used to it, though and that with more practice, it should become easier.
Our Masks and Snorkels.
As for the feeling of weightlessness that we were supposed to be feeling, I would say that this was pretty interesting. Though I had an oxygen tank strapped to my back, I could not even feel the weight of it at all.
At the same time, when I was moving through the swimming pool, I felt as though I was floating. It had been a slightly strange sensation that took some time to get used to, but I think that this feeling of weightlessness would possibly be much more pronounced for astronauts who actually get to go up to Outer Space itself.
A Short Video of what really went on in the pool, during our Media Dive.
Video Footage Credit: Julia Yan. Edited by PrisChew.com.
This introductory session had then been followed by games – these had included a ‘Weight Blocks Building’ activity which had allowed us to feel the difference in leverage points when weights are involved in a weightless environment. We also played a ’Through The Hoop’ game, which gave us more insights on buoyancy in space without the aid of gravity. Both of these games were challenging and eye-opening at the same time.
Upon getting out of the swimming pool a couple of hours later, the feeling of gravity is also much more pronounced – it suddenly feels as though something is pushing down on you the moment that you take your first steps onto dry land.
The Oxygen Tanks.
A unique approach to a preparation clinic for a running race
In short, this had been a unique, completely different and novel experience – as compared to any preparation clinic that I have attended for a running race. At the same time it really opened up my eyes to the weightlessness felt by astronauts in space, and the challenges and conditioning that they have to undergo, in order to successfully achieve their outer space missions and dreams.
Said Pocari Sweat sponsored national marathoner Neo Jie Shi, 30, who had made an appearance at the Dive Clinic but was unable to take part in the diving itself, “When I first heard about this idea, I thought the concept was really innovative. The Lunar Dive Clinic is meant to simulate astronaut training in a micro gravity environment so this adds a refreshing approach to the upcoming Pocari Sweat running race and its theme.”
This was a novel and interesting way to conduct a clinic for a running race.
Photo credit: Gill Divers.
Following the dive, I had not realised how thirsty I was till I had started drinking. In fact I probably polished off about two 500ml bottles of the refreshingly ice-cold Pocari Sweat when I had got out of the diving pool. This also made me realise how important adequate hydration is not only in running, but also for astronaut training as well. And this is especially so when running outdoors in in Singapore’s hot and humid climate.
Said Jie Shi, “As an athlete, I know how important hydrating is, to the human body, yet it is something that is often overlooked. I hope that all runners out there will place priority to ensure that they are adequately hydrated during their runs, trainings and workouts.”
Held in conjunction with the Pocari Sweat Run
Held in conjunction with the Pocari Sweat Run on 23 July, this Dive Clinic ties in with the Lunar theme of this year’s running race as well as its surrounding fringe activities.
The Dive Clinic had been held in conjunction with the Pocari Sweat Run on 23 July.
Photo Credit: Gill Divers.
At the Pocari Sweat Run, the participants will get to look forward to the appearance of a space expert and also to space-themed refuelling stations or hydration points – which will allow runners to hydrate themselves properly to achieve peak performance.
This is much like a lunar expedition, where it is vital for the astronauts to hydrate and refuel themselves adequately, so this year’s Pocari Sweat Run will also give its runners a feel of the journey from the Earth to the Moon.
As well, to prepare the runners for the race, there will be three running clinics organised by ASICS Running Club, which will provide the official pacers for this year’s Pocari Sweat Run.
Said Andy Neo, the Representative of ASICS Running Club and who also made an appearance at the Dive Clinic, “We are thankful to have this chance to partner with Pocari Sweat Singapore and look forward to seeing the runners at the race.”
The Wetsuits that we had used during the Dive.
The Lunar Dream Capsule Project
The Lunar theme for the Pocari Sweat Run this year, is tied closely to the Lunar Dream Capsule Project – which the Pocari Sweat manufacturer, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, is using to make Pocari Sweat be the first beverage to land on the Moon.
In conjunction with design and space company, AstroScale, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd is transporting some Pocari Sweat powder to the Moon in a Lunar Dream Capsule.
Said Puspita Winawati from Pocari Sweat, “We are aiming to deliver a Space Capsule to the Moon containing Pocari Sweat powder in the hope that Pocari Sweat can be made on the Moon with the water found on the Moon. We hope that people can live on the Moon someday too and that Pocari Sweat will become a necessity for future generations of humans living on the Moon.”
Though our Oxygen Tanks were 5kg – 10kg each, we really could not feel the weight in the water.
This is because Pocari Sweat is designed to be the closest composition to BodyWater, which is the natural fluid inside the human body – more so than actual water, too.
Help to complete the “journey” from the Earth to the Moon with Pocari Sweat
Puspita added “So we are bringing this concept to Singapore to call out runners to take part in the Pocari Sweat Run. We are collaborating this run with the Lunar Dream Capsule Project to complete the journey from the Earth to the Moon.”
She continued, “In the past few years, our runners have covered 300,000KM which is 75 per cent of the distance from the Earth to the Moon. So we are asking this year’s runners to cumulatively complete the remaining 80,000KM this year, to help us to compete the full journey to the Moon in that regard.”
The Dive took place at the 5m deep Diving Pool at the Queenstown Swimming Complex.
Sign up for the Pocari Sweat Run 2016
So if you wish to help Pocari Sweat Singapore to complete the “journey” to the Moon, sign up for the 5KM or the 10KM Pocari Sweat Run, on 23 July @ 5pm, at the website: http://www.pocarisweatrun.com. Race registration closes on 1 July.