Cold water swimming in media
Cold water swimming in media! Interview in the local newspaper! Petra Vidrih, for Primorske novice, writes about us! Check it out. Well, at least for the great pictures. Below is the translation of the article. No cold feet allowed 🙂
Two women from Izola, Ana Lončar and Ewa W. Bonin are strengthening up their “spirit and body” for the third season with winter swimming in the cold sea.
They prefer winter sea swimming
It is a beautiful winter day at the Izola Lighthouse beach. Walkers in jackets and hats are basking in the sun and looking in disbelief at the bench where Ana Lončar and Ewa W. Bonin are taking of their clothes. They undress to their swimsuits and surrender to the embrace of the sea. As if the sea was not only ten degrees Celsius, they peacefully swim towards the main Izola pier. You can listen to their joyful chatter and laughter on the shore. After fifteen minutes, when they come out of the water, they are like reborn. “Winter swimming is the best thing you can imagine,” declare enthusiastically two Izola women.
After coming out of the water, they sit in the sun for a while, and then quickly slip into their warm clothes. “Today is really a perfect day for swimming, as the sea is calm, and the outside temperature is quite warm for January,” said Ana Lončar enthusiastically. “But we go swimming as well even when there is no sun and the Bora is blowing or when it is raining,” explains Ewa W. Bonin. She also reveals: “Many people think that the biggest problem in winter is the first contact with cold water. Well, it’s not like that. It is not so big problem to take a swim in the sea. Even when you get out of the water, you can easily stand on the bora for a couple of minutes. The real problem arises five minutes later when you are already dressed in warm clothes and marching towards home. That’s when it’s worst, especially if you have been in the water for too long – on average we swim for 10 to 20 minutes – it makes you so cold that it hurts, laughs at that fact, cute Polish women.
A challenge has grown into a habit
Two women from Izola have been practising winter swimming in the sea for the third season now. “We first jumped into the cold water on January 2, 2019, when we did a ‘madness test ‘and together with some twenty like-minded people on the Ankaran beach ran a historic sprint into the sea on the red carpet. When we got out of the water, we were so excited that we headed back in the sea one more time. The experience was fantastic, adrenaline-fueled, a bit crazy, and the activity was just right for the challenge, “Ana recalls. The challenge soon became a habit – that winter they maintained their general physical shape by swimming in cold sea until the summer. “We swam a few times a week, sometimes we went running or rollerblading before or after jumping into the sea and so combined one sporting pleasure with another.”
Since Ana had to give up running and rollerblading due to problems with feet, the friends decided to strengthen their mental and physical condition by winter swimming in cold water. In the meantime, friendship also grew stronger. “In the sea, we pre-debated many life distresses, shared pleasant insights, discussed current events … Gossip is forbidden, the debate is always constructive. Briefly, instant swimming catharsis! The waves eventually wash away all the problems. It doesn’t get any better than that! ” Ana smirked.
Curious as they are, they were, of course, interested in the health benefits of swimming in the cold water. “We found that there are many scientific studies that confirm the extremely beneficial effects of cold water on health, both physically and mentally, and we decided to keep swimming a constant in our lives.”
They swim almost every day
This decision arose to them last spring, during the first wave of the covid-19 epidemic when life in Slovenia nearly stopped. Swimming in the sea is one of the few sports that a person can perform all year round, even during an epidemics, without special equipment and preparations, they point out. No wonder more and more people are practising it. “In March last year, we swam every day. Early in the morning, before we woke the children, we swam in Simon’s Bay. In that hour, which has become our daily morning ritual, we exercised, chatted a bit and so made it easier to focus later on our daily commitments. ”
Both are mothers – Ana has three children, Ewa has two – and both are teachers: Ana is an elementary school teacher at the Livade primary school in Izola, Ewa teaches English in language courses, and she also earns for living by translating English texts.
Now, in the second wave of the covid-19 epidemic, they usually swim four to five times a week. Until the end of November, their children also swam with them, now they just escort them and watch over their clothes on the shore while their mothers chat in the cold water. “It’s good that we have swimming because, at the moment, we can’t do other sports. Gyms are closed, skiing is forbidden … The only thing left for us, not to ‘bulk up’ is to swim in the sea, “giggles Eva. Well, there is no great fear of “bulking up”, as they are constantly “in motion”, but girls who believe in a “healthy mind in a healthy body” want to stay in shape. “Ever since I swam in the sea in the winter, I haven’t been sick anymore. I used to have a constant cold, I lost my voice several times in the winter. Now I haven’t had a single cold in the last two years, “says Eva. “Swimming strengthens the body’s resistance in general, and it is also good for the psyche,” she teaches us.
They say they are not real Primorska woman
Besides friendship and winter swimming, they have something else in common: they both moved to Izola. Ana is from Zagreb and Ewa is from Poland. During the chat, you cannot notice that Slovene is not their mother tongue. “We must say that we are not real Primorke woman, even though we live in Izola. Also, we swim in the sea in winter, while the genuine Primorci does not even dip a finger in the sea if it is not at least 26 degrees Celsius, “they laugh.
They are glad to notice that more and more people are going for winter swimming in the sea. “We have a sea under our nose. It would be a shame not to use it all year round, also in winter? ” Ana invites others to take courage. “In winter, the sea is incomparably cleaner than in the summertime, there aren’t that many jellyfish, there are no people, no fuss … We like to swim in summer, but only in November we relax properly and we finally take a swim in peace …”
Ewa remembers how strange people looked at them at the beginning when they slipped into their swimsuits in the middle of winter and went into the water. However, this year they hear many more encouraging words from the shore. “When you step into the cold water, your heart starts beating like crazy. The shock makes your blood run, your whole body wakes up. For a healthy person, winter swimming is the best possible thing to do. I recommend it to anyone who does not have much time. You come to the shore, take off your clothes, throw yourself into the sea and burn as many calories in 15 minutes as you would not otherwise burn, even if you worked out in the gym for two hours. Useful, isn’t it? ” Ewa describes the recipe for this kind of maintaining a healthy spirit in a healthy body.