As a magician,
I try to create images that make people stop and think.
I also try to challenge myself to do things
that doctors say are not possible.
I was buried alivein New York City in a coffin,
buried alive in a coffinin April, 1999, for a week.
I lived there with nothing but water.
And it ended up being so much fun
that I decided I could pursuedoing more of these things.
The next one is
I froze myself in a block of ice
for three days and three nightsin New York City.
That one was way more difficultthan I had expected.
The one after that,
I stood on top of a hundred-foot pillar
for 36 hours.
I began to hallucinate so hard
that the buildings that were behind me started to look like big animal heads. So,
next I went to London.
In London I livedin a glass box for 44 days
with nothing but water.
It was, for me,
one of the most difficult things I’d ever done,
but it was also the most beautiful.
There was so many skeptics,especially the press in London,
that they started flying cheeseburgers on helicopters around my box to tempt me.
So, I felt very validated
when the New England Journal of Medicine actually used
the research for science.
My next pursuit was I wanted to see
how long I could go without breathing,
like how long I could survivewith nothing, not even air.
I didn’t realize
that it would become the most amazing journey of my life.
As a young magician, I was obsessed with Houdini and his underwater challenges. So,
I began, early on,competing against the other kids,
seeing how long I could stay underwater
while they went up and down to breathe,
you know, five times,while I stayed under on one breath.
By the time I was a teenager,
I was able to hold my breath for three minutes and 30 seconds.
I would later find outthat was Houdini’s personal record.
In 1987 I heard of a story
about a boy that fell through ice and was trapped under a river.
He was underneath,not breathing for 45 minutes.
When the rescue workers came,
they resuscitated him and there was no brain damage.
His core temperaturehad dropped to 77 degrees.
As a magician,I think everything is possible.
And I think if somethingis done by one person,
it can be done by others.
I started to think,
if the boy could survive without breathing for that long,
there must be a way that I could do it. So,
I met with a top neurosurgeon.
And I asked him,
how long is it possible to go without breathing,
like how long could I go without air?
And he said to me that anythingover six minutes
you have a serious riskof hypoxic brain damage. So,
I took that as a challenge, basically.
My first try, I figuredthat I could do something similar,
and I created a water tank,
and I filled it with iceand freezing cold water.
And I stayed inside of that water tank
hoping my core temperaturewould start to drop.
And I was shivering.
In my first attempt to hold my breath,
I couldn’t even last a minute. So,
I realized that was completelynot going to work.
I went to talk to a doctor friend —
and I asked him,”How could I do that?”
“I want to hold my breath for a reallylong time.
How could it be done?”
然后他说 “戴维 你是一个魔术师
And he said,”David, you’re a magician,
create the illusion of not breathing,it will be much easier.”
he came up with this ideaof creating a rebreather,
with a CO2 scrubber,
which was basicallya tube from Home Depot,
with a balloon duct-taped to it,
that he thought we could put inside of me,
and somehow be able to
circulate the air and rebreathe with this thing in me.
This is a little hard to watch.
But this is that attempt. So,
that clearly wasn’t going to work.
Then I actually started thinkingabout liquid breathing.
There is a chemicalthat’s called perflubron.
And it’s so high in oxygen levels
that in theory you could breathe it. So,
I got my hands on that chemical,
filled the sink up with it,
and stuck my face in the sink
and tried to breathe that in,which was really impossible.
It’s basically like tryingto breathe, as a doctor said,
while having an elephantstanding on your chest. So,
that idea disappeared.
Then I started thinking,
would it be possible to hook upa heart/lung bypass machine
and have a surgery where it
was a tube going into my artery,
and then appear to not breathe while they were oxygenating my blood?
Which was another insane idea, obviously.
Then I thought aboutthe craziest idea of all the ideas:
to actually do it.
To actually try to holdmy breath past the point
that doctors wouldconsider you brain dead. So,
I started researchinginto pearl divers.
You know, because they go down for four minutes on one breath.
And when I was researching pearl divers, I found the world of free-diving.
It was the most amazing thing that I ever discovered, pretty much.
There is many differentaspects to free-diving.
There is depth records, where people go as deep as they can.
And then there is static apnea.
That’s holding your breathas long as you can
in one place without moving.
That was the one that I studied.
The first thing
that I learned is when you’re holding your breath,
you should never move at all;that wastes energy.
And that depletes oxygen,
and it builds up CO2 in your blood. So,
I learned never to move.
And I learned how to slowmy heart rate down.
I had to remainperfectly still and just relax
and think that I wasn’t in my body, and just control that.
And then I learned how to purge.
Purging is basically hyperventilating.
You blow in and out —
You do that, you get lightheaded,you get tingling.
And you’re really riddingyour body of CO2. So,
when you hold your breath,it’s infinitely easier.
Then I learned that you haveto take a huge breath,
接着屏气 放松 不要泄气
and just hold and relaxand never let any air out,
and just hold and relaxthrough all the pain.
Every morning, this is for months,
I would wake up and the first thing
that I would do
is I would hold my breath for,
out of 52 minutes,
I would hold my breath for 44 minutes. So,
basically what that meansis I would purge,
I’d breathe really hard for a minute.
And I would hold, immediately after, for five and a half minutes.
Then I would breathe again for a minute,
purging as hard as I can,
then immediately after that I would hold again for five and a half minutes.
I would repeat this processeight times in a row.
Out of 52 minutes, you’re onlybreathing for eight minutes.
At the end of thatyou’re completely fried, your brain.
You feel like you’re walkingaround in a daze.
And you have these awful headaches. Basically,
I’m not the best person
to talk to when I’m doing that stuff.
I started learningabout the world-record holder.
His name is Tom Sietas.
And this guy is perfectly builtfor holding his breath.
He’s six foot four. He’s 160 pounds.
And his total lung capacity is twice the size of an average person.
I’m six foot one, and fat.
We’ll say big-boned.
I had to drop 50 pounds in three months. So,
everything that I put into my body, I considered as medicine.
Every bit of food was exactly what it was for its nutritional value.
I ate really small controlled portionsthroughout the day.
And I started to really adapt my body.
[Individual results may vary]
The thinner I was, the longer I was able to hold my breath.
And by eating so welland training so hard,
my resting heart-rate droppedto 38 beats per minute.
Which is lower than most Olympic athletes.
In four months of training,
I was able to hold my breath for over seven minutes.
I wanted to try holdingmy breath everywhere.
I wanted to try itin the most extreme situations
to see if I could slow my heart rate down under duress.
I decided that I was goingto break the world record
live on prime-time television.
The world record waseight minutes and 58 seconds,
held by Tom Sietas,
that guy with the whale lungs I told you about.
I assumed that I could put
a water tank at Lincoln Center
and if I stayed there a week not eating,
I would get comfortable
in that situation and I would slow my metabolism,
which I was sure would help mehold my breath
longer than I had been able to do it.
I was completely wrong.
I entered the sphere a weekbefore the scheduled air date.
And I thought everythingseemed to be on track.
Two days before my bigbreath-hold attempt, for the record,
the producers of my television special thought that just watching somebody holding their breath,
and almost drowning,
is too boring for television.
I had to add handcuffs,
while holding my breath, to escape from.
This was a critical mistake.
Because of the movement,I was wasting oxygen.
And by seven minutes I had goneinto these awful convulsions.
By 7:08, I started to black out.
And by seven minutes and 30 seconds,
they had to pull my body outand bring me back.
I had failed on every level.
naturally, the only way out
of the slump that I could think of was,
I decided to call Oprah.
I told her that I wanted to
up the ante and hold my breath longer than any human being ever had.
This was a different record.
This was a pure O2 static apnea record
that Guinness had setthe world record at 13 minutes. So,
basically you breathe pure O2 first,
oxygenating your body, flushing out CO2,
and you are able to hold much longer.
I realized that my real competitionwas the beaver.
In January of’08, Oprah gave me four months to prepare and train. So,
I would sleepin a hypoxic tent every night.
A hypoxic tent is a tent that simulates altitude at 15,000 feet. So,
it’s like base camp, Everest.
What that does is,
you start building up the red bloodcell count in your body,
which helps you carry oxygen better.
Every morning, again,after getting out of that tent,
your brain is completely wiped out.
My first attempt on pure O2,
I was able to go up to 15 minutes. So,
it was a pretty big success.
The neurosurgeonpulled me out of the water
because in his mind,
at 15 minutes your brain is done, you’re brain dead. So,
he pulled me up, and I was fine.
There was one person therethat was definitely not impressed.
It was my ex-girlfriend.
While I was breaking the recordunderwater for the first time,
she was sifting through my Blackberry,checking all my messages.
My brother had a picture of it.It is really —
I then announced that I was going to go
for Sietas’ record, publicly.
And what he did in response,
is he went on Regis and Kelly,
and broke his old record.
Then his main competitorwent out and broke his record. So,
he suddenly pushed the record up to 16 minutes and 32 seconds.
Which was three minuteslonger than I had prepared.
It was longer than the record.
I wanted to get the Science Timesto document this.
I wanted to get them to do a piece on it. So,
I did what any person
seriously pursuing scientificadvancement would do.
I walked into the New York Times offices and did card tricks to everybody.
I don’t know
if it was the magic or the lure of the Cayman Islands,
but John Tierney flew down and did a piece on the seriousness of breath-holding.
While he was there,I tried to impress him, of course.
And I did a dive down to 160 feet,
which is basically the heightof a 16 story building,
and as I was coming up,I blacked out underwater,
which is really dangerous;that’s how you drown. Luckily,
Kirk had seen me and he swam over and pulled me up. So,
I started full focus.
I completely trained to getmy breath-hold time up
for what I needed to do.
But there was no way to prepare
for the live television aspect of it,
being on Oprah.
But in practice, I would do it face down,
floating on the pool.
But for TV they wanted me to be
upright so they could see my face, basically.
The other problemwas the suit was so buoyant
that they had to strap my feet in to keep me from floating up. So,
I had to use my legs
to hold my feet into the straps that were loose,
which was a real problem for me.
That made me extremely nervous,raising the heart rate. Then,
what they also did was, which we never did before,
is there was a heart-rate monitor.
And it was right next to the sphere. So,
所以 每次的心跳声我都能听到 哔 哔 哔
every time my heart would beat,I’d hear the beep-beep-beep-beep,
you know, the ticking, really loud.
Which was making me more nervous.
And there was no way to slowmy heart rate down. Normally,
I would startat 38 beats per minute,
and while holding my breath,
it would drop to 12 beats per minute,
which is pretty unusual.
This time it started at 120 beats, and it never went down.
I spent the first five minutes underwater
desperately trying to slowmy heart rate down.
I was just sitting there thinking,
“I’ve got to slow this down.I’m going to fail.”
And I was getting more nervous.
And the heart ratejust kept going up and up,
all the way up to 150 beats.
Basically it’s the same thing that created my downfall at Lincoln Center.
It was a waste of O2.
When I made it to the halfwaymark, at eight minutes,
I was 100 percent certain
that I was not goingto be able to make this.
There was no way for me to do it.
I figured, Oprah had dedicated an hour
to doing this breath-hold thing,if I had cracked early,
it would be a whole showabout how depressed I am.
I figured I’m better off
just fighting and staying there until I black out,
at least then they can pull me out and take care
of me and all that.
I kept pushing to 10 minutes.
At 10 minutes you start getting
all these really strong tingling sensations
in your fingers and toes.
And I knew that that was blood shunting,
when the blood rushes away from your extremities
to provide oxygen to your vital organs.
At 11 minutes I started feelingthrobbing sensations in my legs,
and my lips startedto feel really strange.
At minute 12 I startedto have ringing in my ears,
and I started to feel my arm going numb.
And I’m a hypochondriac, and I remember arm numb means heart attack. So,
I started to reallyget really paranoid.
Then at 13 minutes, maybebecause of the hypochondria,
I started feeling pains all over my chest.
It was awful.
At 14 minutes,I had these awful contractions,
like this urge to breathe.
At 15 minutes I was suffering major O2 deprivation to the heart.
And I started havingischemia to the heart.
My heartbeat would go from 120 to 50,
到150次 到40次 到20次 又到150次
to 150, to 40, to 20, to 150 again.
It would skip a beat.
跳动 停下 我全都能感觉到
It would start. It would stop.And I felt all this.
And I was sure that I was going to have a heart attack. So,
at 16 minutes what
I did is I slid my feet out
because I knew that if I did go out,
if I did have a heart attack,
they’d have to jump
into the binding and take my feet out
before pulling me up.
I was really nervous.
I let my feet out, and I started floating to the top.
And I didn’t take my head out.
But I was just floating there waiting
for my heart to stop,
They had doctors with the”Pst,”you know, sitting there waiting.
And then suddenly I hear screaming.
And I think that thereis some weird thing —
that I had died or something had happened.
And then I realizedthat I had made it to 16:32. So,
with the energyof everybody that was there,
I decided to keep pushing.
And I went to 17 minutes and four seconds.
As though that wasn’t enough,what I did immediately after
is I went to Quest Labs and had
them take every blood sample that they could
to test for everythingand to see where my levels were,
so the doctors could use it, once again.
I also didn’t want anybody to question it.
I had the world record and I wanted to make sure it was legitimate. So,
I get to New York City the next day,
I’m walking out of the Apple store,
and this kid walks up to mehe’s like,”Yo, D!”
He said,”If you reallyheld your breath that long,
why’d you come out of the water dry?”
I was like”What?”
And that’s my life. So —
As a magician,I try to show things to people
that seem impossible.
And I think magic,
whether I’m holding my breath or shuffling a deck of cards,
is pretty simple.
就是去练习 训练 还有……
It’s practice, it’s training,and it’s — (Sobs)
就是去练习 训练 还有实验而已
It’s practice, it’s trainingand experimenting,
while pushing through the pain to be the best that I can be.
And that’s what magicis to me, so, thank you.