Certainly one of the most special and greatest experiences I have made in my whole life – ice swimming. Also an activity many Finnish people follow to strengthen their immune system and to prevent diseases.
Typically, they combine the ice cold experience with a hot sauna, so did we. Every Wednesday from 18-20 o’clock the little tent down at the river got heated up to offer a place to get warm again after the swim. My friends and I have been quite keen the whole time to try this out! Finally the day has come. As we arrived we were asked to write down our name and state how many times we went ice swimming this year already. While we wrote a ‘1’ we saw others who went already more than 30 times! Since the woman who kept an eye on everything recognized that we were quite nervous and excited, she offered to accompany us down to the water and explained that we have to breathe constantly and keep our head above the surface. I went twice into the coldness and during the first time the icy water made my lungs cramp and I barely could breathe. It was a very insane feeling, but as the sign stated: “It can be that the breathing stops for a few seconds, however, this is not dangerous”. After the swim my body was pumped with adrenaline, even many hours afterwards. It is such a good feeling to step out of your comfort zone! It definitely was not my last time I did that.