Big Brrr Approaches

The ice baths at I&J. Roxy is second from right.

The ice baths at I&J. Roxy is second from right.

Local ice swimmer Roxy van Eyk’s next big challenge is approaching. The swim in the freezing cold waters at the Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho is set to take place on 9 August, with two short 5-minute swims preceding it on the 7h and 8th.

In a former interview Roxy told about taking ice baths at home as part of her training program. In preparation for the Afriski swim this practice has now been stepped up. Roxy and the other ice swimmers have been going to the I&J Fisheries in Woodstock twice a week to immerse themselves well and truly in ice. All the ice swimmers are required to take the ice baths in order to prepare themselves mentally for the rigors that wait on them during the coming 1 km ice water swim in the Sani Pass.

Roxy van Eyk.

Roxy van Eyk.

Last week Roxy battled with momentary qualms as she sat immersed for periods of ten minutes in 0.6° water at I&J. Some of the swimmers chat while in the water, others stay quiet. Roxy had been struggling with a swimming injury and the cold got to her. She reports, “The ice bath was a big wake up call for me. I was in a bit of a negative mental space. Then I told myself. None of this negative crap. You can do it!”

The Afriski Mountain Resort currently looks like this.

The Afriski Mountain Resort currently looks like this. Photo:

Advice for people wanting to do an ice swim? “Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t do it!” Plus, this is your chance to eat pizza, as Roxy believes that a few additional kilos help against the cold.

On the day of the Big Swim there will be no additional padding for Roxy and the other swimmers. She will be swimming in a one piece swimsuit and goggles – and an invisible coating of her formidable fortitude.



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