This week’s podcast features an ice swimming group in Strogino, a district of Moscow.
I found them on Instagram, and fell in love with their photographs over the winter.
They swim every Sunday in an ice hole that they cut by hand – each year creating a pool that is 50m long and a couple of metres wide. Creating the hole is muscle warming and team building, and culminates in a game where the cutters run across the cut ice blocks as they bob in the water.
Their mission is to spread the word that anyone can swim in ice water.
There are no limitations, in their view. They are inclusive of people of all ages with any health condition. Their members range from 5 years to 80 years old.
They believe in the physical and mental health benefits of ice swimming.
They describe it as a re-boot for the whole system.
They talk about the energy that you leave the water with. And how addictive it is.
I was welcomed as a new member of their group and invited to swim with them. And that felt like an entirely genuine invitation, so I’ve stared looking for flights for November or December.
I wish I understood Russian, as I’m sure there are so many subtleties in the interview that are lost in translation. And I have no idea what the big laugh is about half way through.
But the warmth and friendship and family shines through. Just like it does in the groups that I am already an active part of.
Огромное спасибо Олегу и Артемию за то, что поговорили со мной. Мне очень понравилось интервью, и я не могу дождаться, чтобы поплавать с тобой.
I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope it takes you on a different kind of wild swim journey. One that goes to Moscow to meet two of the warmest people swimming in the coldest water.