Why I’ve embraced Cold Water Swimming

For those ... who follow me on instagram ... you would be more than aware, care of my vainglorious postings - of my new devotion to Cold Water Swimming. In fact that might be a bit rich, given the water is yet to get that cold, however I will be carrying on through the winter and no doubt bore you stupid with my postings.

So why the Cold Water swimming, basically its the most extraordinary feeling .... to the very cells extraordinary. I swim once a week at Bondi Icebergs with a small but devoted crew. Nose pressed to the gate at opening. The crowd is mostly past 40, some as old as 80, after our laps we meet in the Sauna. A Sauna with a view to die for, on good days pods of dolphins surf out the back next to their cousins the human surfers. There could be a book in "Tails from the Sauna", here the cossie is a brilliant social equaliser, face oils are shared I've even overheard some stock advise.
After the Sauna the pay off is the plunge .. I swear I can feel my hair grow.

I've started following Lillen Feddersen on instagram @lillens_photos she is the real deal a cold water swimmer in Norway, I read about her in the wonderful online magazine Renaissance.

Since turning 40 in 2007 Lillen has lived with chronic headaches. They intensified in 2017 to the degree that she was completely immobilised from pain and couldn't
live without assistance.

The pain began as a symptom of a burnout when working as a strategic planner for Norway’biggest petroleum corporation.

Lillen loved her job, but found the increasing demands and performance culture took its toll on her mind and body. In 2018 a new course of pain medication offered
enough relief that Lillen was able to regain some movement, but the medication was not nearly enough to halt the pain and give Lillen her once-active life back.

Finding an alternative path to healing led Lillen to the little bay called Vaulen at the mouth of the Gandsfjord, just a few minutes drive from home, near the city of Stavanger.

Having read about cold water therapy, Lillen was interested to see if it could make a dent in her own excruciating pain. She described the soothing effect on her head pain during that first swim as instant, and was soon driving back to the bay several times a day.

During her first swim she could only manage a few strokes before the cold and neck pain became too much. But over time she could loosen up her muscles and spend more time in the water.
With water temperatures ranging from 3.5 to 18 degrees Celsius (38-64 deg F), Lillen swims in a neoprene hood.


Share this Post

Comments 4

  1. Hi Lorrie, This is inspirational stuff. Your piece reminds me of how I took up swimming to quit cigarettes some 15 years ago. Now I am thinking of therapeutic benefits in a few other areas – especially as the water is still nice and warm.

    1. Post
  2. Nice one Laurie! Been doing it since 1980. Back then it got really cold. Mostly for wimps in wetsuits now. I trust you are not one of them!

    Oh and don’t encourage them. One of the best things about winter in the Icebergs is very few people. Still crowded compared with the 80’s and 90’s but at least better than summer.

    Love Sue

    1. Post

      No wetsuit Sue, and honestly I don’t think I’ve encouraged a soul, they think I’m mad. Agree it is lovely and quiet the colder it gets.
      However you would be a walking talking example of the benefits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.