Winter Swimming in Ukraine

Winter Swimming in Ukraine

Winter swimming looks crazy, but it
feels great and is perfectly safe and probably even good for you — if — you do it
right. I’m in Lutsk Ukraine where everyone knows about winter time swimming and
some people to do it every day. Most people in Lutsk, think that winter time swimming is good for you, even if they personally have never done it. My guess is that in
this city of 220,000 people there’s about 500 people who swim in the winter at least
once per week and about 200 who do it everyday. People who do this everyday
call themselves walruses. Of course — those numbers are just for regular days during
the winter. On January 19, there’s an Orthodox religious holiday call Epiphany, where the faithful celebrate the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, by swimming
in the river. On that day in Lutsk Ukraine, there are
probably several thousand people who swim in the river. It’s popular enough
that even people who aren’t Orthodox, and who aren’t regular winter time swimmers like
to swim on that day. About 80% of the regular swimmers swim nude. Now being
naked in public is rare in Ukraine, for example, you’ll never see nude models in
advertising or people sunbathing naked in a park like you would in Germany or
France. But apparently, it’s okay to be naked by the river, briefly, if you’re
swimming. Now most Ukrainian swimmers don’t want to be
photographed swimming naked so we couldn’t show you everyone was swimming on our day by
the river. Here’s how this works. Today the air temperatures is 26 degrees Fahrenheit (minus
3 C) and the water temperatures is 37 degrees Fahrenheit (plus three C). I
prepared for my first winter time swim by dunking my face in cold ice water — like
this three times a day for a week — about 30 seconds per time. After a week I did my
first winter time swim which was simply in the water and out as fast as I could. Now I like to swim for about 60 seconds. I stayed in the water one time for four
minutes and got yelled at by the locals. Okay I’m here in Lutsk, Ukraine and I’m getting ready to change in a changing booth right there and swim in the river. the temperature is -3 degrees celcius. Music. Let’s get the camera on your head. You probably think that you could never do this, and if you have a heart condition, or other chronic health problem, you probably shouldn’t. but any time I see a significant group of people doing something that looks crazy, looks crazy but they’re
staying happy and healthy while doing it I at least consider trying it. Music Oooh, la la la la. This is where it gets interesting. So if I were Orthodox, I would cross myself, say something nice about the saints. Oooh Boy! Music Yippee! Music It’s kind of fun! Okay, here we go. My hands are numb. Surprisingly right now. I really don’t feel that cold and uncomfortable. Gonna get dry as quickly as I can Get this wet swimming suit off — as quickly as I can. Music If you get the right amount of time in the cold water — not too much – not too little. You come out and you feel divine. This is where you’ll wish you weren’t wearing a swimming suit — because a swimming suit is just one more cold thing to get off your body as fast as you can. music Right now I feel absolutely incredible. It’s like — everything is beautiful — all’s right with the world. The world is ten times more wonderful than it was before I went swimming. and life is good! It’s really hard to describe how this feels. It’s much different than a runner’s high — and an incredibly good feeling. The amazingly good feeling is not something I get every time. So if you try this once and don’t feel absolutely great, try it again. If you want to try this, it would be great to do it somewhere where
its popular, like Ukraine, Russia or eastern Europe. Follow the advice of the locals and my advice to get your face cold adapted for a week before you swim for
the first time. Add a personal flotation device and a friend to pull you out for even
more safety. If you liked this video, please like, comment, subscribe and share
it with your friends. If you want to improve your English. please visit and watch the companion video called: “Vocabulary for Winter Swimming.”
In that video I teach you the advanced English words used in this video.

6 thoughts on “Winter Swimming in Ukraine

  1. This is a masterpiece on how to adapt to local severe weather
    conditions and at the same time this is a very useful lesson of English! Thank
    you very much for you great job!!!

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