wim hof in snow and ice split image

Taking a cold shower or going for a swim in an icy lake might not appeal to everyone, but for Wim Hof, freezing water became a Iifeline.

The Dutch record breaker, known as “The Iceman”, has become known the world over for his Wim Hof Method that preaches the benefits of cold therapy.

And it was the tragic suicide of his beloved wife Olaya that led him down the frozen path to fame and a new career.

“I found something in nature and it worked,” he said.

“In ’95, I lost my wife by suicide. I was left behind together with four children.

“I loved her to death. I was an emotional wreck, but I had to go on because I had four children and little money, very little money.

And there I found relief through the cold, through exercising in the cold.

Wim breaking the full body contact record in 2008

Wim, 64, continued: “You have to survive, that’s what I learned.

“And I learned breathing, to be consciously in my breathing. It helped really to control my emotion and I get back into sense.

What doesn’t kill you, get out of it, ‘cause there’s always a solution.

wim hof buried in snow

Wim, who is in the Guinness World Records Hall of Fame, has broken records by running snowy marathons in a pair of shorts, swimming under the ice and going up the mountains barefoot in the snow.

He’s also broken the record for longest duration full body contact with ice (male) numerous times over the years.

He last set it in 2013 with a time of 1 hr 53 min 2 sec, and the record now stands at 3 hr 11 min 27 sec, set by Krzysztof Gajewski (Poland).

Wim running a barefoot marathon in the snow

Wim told us: “I get natural highs off the cold.

“I’m never sick anymore, I feel strong every day. Natural method is really the answer to existing problems of chronic diseases – battle it, take the cold showers, take the ice water. It’s your warm friend and it will protect you.”

Wim believes that training your body to overcome icy temperatures can have a positive impact on the mind as well.

wim hof in a tube being filled with ice cubes

He said: “Nobody likes to be in anxiety, fear, PTSD, trauma, depression, but nobody knows how to find a sense of control.

“What we provide with these techniques is an absolute doorway into that control of our own brain to restore balance.”

Many people have adopted Wim’s three pillars method.

wim hof talks to the camera as his dog sleeps next to him

And he says his record-breaking journey has paved the way for him to help others.

He said: “I am never sick, I feel strong every day, I feel energetic every day – what is that?

“Because we lost a certain connection between brain and body, that’s why we get these diseases, we are much more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses, and that’s what we have been shown, to restore the connection of brain and body.

wim-hof in an ice bath

To get the records, that was nice, but now it is serious. Healing people – that’s what I want.

Wim also broke the record for the fastest half marathon barefoot on ice/snow with a time of 2 hr 16 min 34 sec in 2007.

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