Chapter 17: Winter Bathing!

It’s no secret that winter bathing is cold. That’s the whole point, right? You freeze yourself to death for a few seconds, get the blood pumping, and then thaw out (hopefully in a sauna). I knew all of this prior to having my experience, but even still I was NOT prepared for the level of cold I endured. I have never been that cold in my life! I’m not exaggerating.

My friends and I chose a sunny Sunday to take the plunge, thinking the rays would give us a little more warmth. We went to Islands Brygge Harbour Bath, which is actually where I went swimming back in August. It was a guest day for the saunas, which meant it was free to get in.

Islands Brygge. Here’s where we got in the water, and the trailer in the back is one of the saunas.

We stripped down to our bathing suits, felt the chill of the Copenhagen wind, and almost turned around that instant. I felt like a crazy person for doing this to myself, but we had come too far not to see it through.

We slowly lowered into the water one by one and I swear I almost turned into an icicle. The water was FREEZING! We had originally agreed to stay in the water for at least 10 seconds, but we probably only stayed in for 5, and that’s a generous estimate.

Our feet were ice pops and we speed walked to the sauna on numb feet. As soon as we stepped inside I let out a sigh of relief. Ah, sweet warmth! I have to admit, going from ridiculously cold to very hot felt amazing. Who would’ve thought there’d be something nice about regaining feeling in your body after feeling like you’ve got frostbite. Ha.

Lauren and I resisting the urge to run.
Lauren, Shae, and I getting toasty in the sauna.

We felt so good in the sauna that we forgot about the horrors of being in the cold water and decided to do the whole thing again! Before we did went it we stopped for a photo with these cool hats because winter bathing was our viking initiation ceremony.

The second time was a little bit easier and I went in to my shoulders. I’d like to think I stayed in for 10 seconds that time, but realistically I probably only stayed in 7–but hey, that’s longer than the last time. I stepped out of the water and practically ran to the sauna, eager to get that feeling from before again.

After that we changed into warm, fuzzy cloths and headed home for some warm drinks, hot showers, and comfy beds.

Overall, I’d say winter bathing is definitely a must, but I wouldn’t say it’s my thing. Next time I might just skip right to the sauna. I may be from a relatively cold place (Massachusetts), but I’ve got island blood.

The bottom line: I’ll be skipping the cold, but bring on the heat!


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