Apparently, in Russia there is a tradition of going for a weekly swim in a frozen lake. Blocks of ice are cut out to make a small pool, and then men and women take a dip in water that can be as cold as minus two degrees Celsius.
As a former journalist myself, I prided myself on seeking out attention-getting stories – but this one goes well beyond that. And, as an accomplished swimmer (see my previous blog on the beach http://benfranklinexclusive.weebly.com/1/post/2013/07/ben-at-the-beach.html), I can easily relate to not only the athletic benefits, but also the health advantages for the human body: improving circulation, detoxing the body, and increasing energy and vitality.
If you were so inclined as to see this story for yourself, it can be found at this website: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/dotworld-abc-news/secret-russia-power-064501397.html?vp=1 The reporter, Hamish MacDonald, was certainly a very brave man to try this activity for himself.
I understand there is also an American equivalent to this, called the “Polar Bear Club.” However, compared to their Russian counterparts, this group does not practice the ice dips quite as frequently – usually only once a year!
Ben on the rocks.
I am still debating myself whether I would be similarly courageous, all in the interest of getting a good story. I was known for sleeping with the window open to get fresh air, even in very cold weather. John Adams can attest to that, as he roomed with me one night and reluctantly agreed to keep the window open as I had proposed.
Perhaps, at this stage in my life, as a 308-year-old time traveler, I might still be adventurous enough to try ice swimming. I can recall when, as a nineteen-year-old, I swam the Thames River in England, from Chelsea to Blackfriars – showing off all my fancy swimming moves along the way.
I think I would make one concession to common sense, however, if I were to attempt this: not only would I be wearing the swim flippers that I invented… I’d also probably insist on what I’ve heard is a type of rubber britches, the “wet suit.” I do have to be somewhat sensible in my “advanced years.”
Your humble servant,