Facing the cold

Fit & Training door thijs

Two weeks ago I was in Poland for the FIVB World Grand Prix together with the Dutch National Team. Flying to Gdansk made me think of the time that I lived there, only hundred meters from the Baltic sea. At the time I played for Atom Trefl Sopot (Polish female volleyball team). Me and my family were always fond of swimming in seas or lakes, even though it was cold. My father said it was proof of strong character.

Me and my brother facing the ice cold water

One time during winter, when my family came to visit me in Gdansk the challenge was: who is the last person that dares to go into the water this winter. My father won. And crazy enough, we were not the only ones swimming at that time of the year. If you walked along the snowy beach, there were still people enjoying a swim in the cold water.

Once I talked to a man who always swam in sea during winter, and he told me that it’s very good for your health. He said that by dipping weekly in cold water, he never caught a cold or got ill. Some other Polish swimmers I met told me the same story. These nothern traditions were also respected by my Polish volleyball team. After each practice we could take an ice bath in our looker room to cool off our legs.

I think everyone should take a dip into the cold water once in a while. It appears to provide inner strength and doing something out of the ordinary gives a real kick. Just check out this guy, Wim the Iceman. This Dutchman has several ‘cold records’ to his name. His personal record is 1 hour, 52 minutes and 42 seconds in cold water. If you want, you can even splash into the water with Wim himself in Poland. Would you dare to do it?

Are there any things you would like to ask me or my fellow team mates? Leave your questions in the comment below!