Jana Strain

Records & Biography


The ideal state to be in while freediving is to be present in your body, but without your mind. In this state of absolute presence you enter flow. Time loses it's meaning, and your senses become heightened. There is nothing but the sensation of water moving across your face, the distance call of whales, and the blue of the ocean embracing you.

I found that nothing quite revealed my inner demons like holding my breath. The pressure and nervousness about an upcoming record attempt, the idea of diving into water so deep and black I won't be able to see more than a meter in any direction, or the knowledge that my safety divers won't be able to help, or even see if something goes wrong. Without being able to calm my mind, I could not enter this necessary state of flow.

I learned through this process that our ability to push limits is linked very closely to our ability to believe in ourselves. When I gave in to my demons and told myself I couldn't do it, my negative self talk became shackles holding me back. When I told myself I could do it and had faith in myself, I would push on and accomplish things I didn't know were possible.

Freediving gave me the ability to challenge myself, to do things I did not think were humanly possible, and to find a deep inner peace and solace that still holds me today in times of fear or stress.

Records & Achievements

I started freediving in 2008 after teaching scuba for a few years, finding myself drawn to the idea of diving without tanks. Six months later I was awarded best new female freediver by the International Association for the Development of Freediving, after I broke the North American record by swimming 155 meters, followed by breaking my own record again two days later with a 171 meter swim.

In April 2009 I set a Canadian, North American, and Pan American depth record by swimming to 51 meters, set the no fins distance record at 116 meters, and took the Canadian National Champion title in Montreal.

Over the next year and a half I broke my distance record by swimming 181 meters, and beat my own depth record twice, ending up at 54 meters. I also became a World Cup Champion in both individual and team disciplines, and was on the 1st place team at the Triple Depth 2009 competition in Egypt.

In 2010 I stepped away from professionally competing at freediving to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree.

DetailsLocation & Date
World Cup Champion Individual and Team Ranking Kalamata, Greece June 20, 2010
Constant No Fins: 54M National, Pan American, Continental Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas December 3, 2009
Constant No Fins: 53M National, Pan American, Continental Dahab, Egypt September 7, 2009
1st Placew Team Overall Winners Dahab, Egypt September 7, 2009
Dynamic Apnea: 181M National, Pan American, Continental Aarhus, Denmark August 21, 2009
Canadian National Champion National Title Montreal, Canada August 21, 2009
Dynamic Apnea No Fins: 116M National, Pan American, Continental Montreal, Canada April 25, 2009
Constant No Fins: 51M National, Pan American, Continental Long Island, Bahamas April 5, 2009
Dynamic Apnea: 171M National, Pan American, Continental Malibu, USA October 18, 2008
Dynamic Apnea: 155M National, Pan American, Continental Malibu, USA October 16, 2008