Four years ago, Carina decided to live life to the fullest and try cold water swimming. Now she swims everyday and reaps the benefits.
Carina is the definition of a Lifelong Learner. A few years ago, her New Year's resolution was to say yes to everything. So when a friend mentioned the benefits of cold water swimming, Carina jumped in.
"I live on the small island of Galiano off the coast of Canada. There are around 1,000 residents, many artists or writers who visit, and no swimming pools to be seen. And I love to swim, so I've started to swim in the ocean."
Carina's inspiration to swim comes from Wim Hof, who holds the most records for longest contact with ice and used to hold world records for ice swimming. Many know him as the Iceman for his skills and his advocacy of cryotherapy. As Carina has discovered these past few years, cold water therapy can help with stress, inflammation, immunity, energy, skincare, focus, sleep, and mood. Carina now swims nearly every day, whether the water is 45°F in winter or 60° in summer.
"The first time I swam in sub 50° F water, I thought I was crazy and about to die. But then I learned Wim Hof breathing techniques and figured out my stamina. Now I'm hooked. After a few minutes in freezing water, your body releases endorphins to give you a high. I've done marathons and triathlons, and those runners' highs are nothing compared to ice swimming highs. It's fantastic."
The key to cold water swimming, according to Carina, is just to do it. Just jump in. You won't regret it. If swimming is too much, you can start taking cold showers and ice baths. However, sometimes it is easier to splash out into the waves. Carina usually swims for twenty minutes to an hour, depending on the temperature of the water. Too long in the cold can lead to hypothermia, which renders the benefits of cold water swimming useless. There is a balance that Carina will teach us to find in her upcoming class Cold Water Swimming for Every-Body.
As a former yoga instructor of 25 years, and a flight attendant for 35, Carina has seen and experienced the world. And now, her latest adventure, inspired by her fearless New Year’s resolution, has her not only cold water swimming but writing newsletters! A local social club needed a new designer, and even though the task is intimidating, Carina said yes. Now she is learning skills to create fabulous layouts and intriguing pieces.
"My mom is my inspiration to stay active and try new things. She's 95 and incredible. Up until her hip issues a few years ago, she kayaked, walked, and cycled all of the time. Even now, she lives independently and never complains. She's just a go-getter and reminds me that we are here for a finite time. Life is a gift for us to live to the fullest. And that's what I plan to do: keep living life to the fullest."