It’s that time of year, just as we see some hints of spring coming through, the wind and rain quickly comes to remind us we’ll need to wait a little longer yet for those sunny morning runs! So that got us thinking this week: What new and different sports can we find at the moment? Is there something new and exciting we can get involved in that will help shake up our normal routine. Then, a rather cold, but exciting event popped up on our radar: Winter swimming!
Definitely not an activity for the faint hearted, winter swimming is taking over and we wanted to find out more!
So where does it come from? Well that’s a difficult question to answer but many countries around the world have taken up the practise of running into the see on New Year’s Day annually for quite some time now. This, combined with the growth of open water swimming competitions and events has put winter swimming on the map…or rather on the SPRT App!
There are lots of considerations to take into account when swimming in open water or in cold temperatures and it should be conducted in groups, not only to motivate each other but also to keep account of one another’s safety but that’s why we think it’s so unique and exciting. Getting out of your comfort zone is often a great challenge and something to be admired, and one of the best ways to do this is by being in a group of people also in the same situation, experiencing exactly the same challenges and discomfort!
As we mentioned earlier, this sport is growing rapidly in popularity and attention, so why are we writing about this now when we’re a little late to the party?! Well, mainly because of one man: Wim Hof, also known as the ‘Ice Man’.
Wim Hof has a method to becoming ‘happier, healthier and more powerful’ which is based on 3 core essentials; cold therapy, breathing, and commitment. He combines these three impressive, and somewhat daunting sounding essentials together in order to, as he says, ‘unlock a multitude of benefits.’ He tours the world and has appeared in a series of viral Youtube videos exclaiming the importance and benefits of cold water immersion and he seems to have inspired many people all around the globe to grit their teeth and jump into the water!
I can’t afford a weekend Wim Hof experience!
Many people have taken part in his weekend courses or workshops, or even proudly own his apparel and merchandise. But hey, this isn’t about affording a weekend of instruction using the Wim Hof method. No, for us, this new craze makes shows the ‘why not’ attitude. This man has achieved incredible things that most of us would consider unthinkable! ‘Running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle, barefoot only wearing shorts,’ ‘Hanging on one finger at an altitude of 2,000 meters,’ and ‘ Running a full marathon in the Namib Desert without drinking,’ are only three of the astounding achievements on his website but most incredible is the power and inspiration he has given people to complete their own unthinkable challenges, such as getting out of their comfort zones or giving something completely new and daunting a go!
This is what we want to harness and congratulate. We want our community not to feel as if they have to stay in an ice bath for 10 whole minutes, but rather to capture this attitude and inspiration to get outside, meet new people and get out of their comfort zones!
The possibilities are endless!
Whatever you think you’d like to give a go, there’s bound to be something out there which will capture your interest. Moreover, there will definitely be people out there who have the same mindset as you and also want to try something new! So have a think about some kind of activity which could shake up your routine and make it happen! Try and adopt the ‘why not?!’ attitude and see what happens, you’ll most likely have an incredible one-off experience, find a new passion or even some great new friends in the process.