As many of us donned warm coats and fluffy socks this New Years Eve, Dylan Friedmann stepped into the freezing waters of Lake Ontario. She had been doing it every other day in 2021, so she wasn’t going to stop until the end.
Friedmann, who works at a fintech agency, completed his frigid marathon on Friday – his 365th daily dive of the year, in the lake water off Toronto’s East Beach neighborhood, a feat she celebrated with a bottle of champagne on the beach.
Speaking to The Star this week, Friedmann said part of the project was to raise money for Kids Help Phone, a charity that provides confidential 24/7 health support. mental to young people.
“The most important thing for me was to link him to the charity, he’s there to support young people and children in need,” Friedmann said. “As immersion helped me, it made me think of others who don’t have the capacity to participate in such activities or who could maybe just use a friend or someone to talk to. . “
The feeling of calm and satisfaction of stepping into cold water for up to 10 minutes – many celebrities and athletes swear by the benefits of cryotherapy or cold water therapy – is also something ‘she hopes others will feel in their daily lives after hearing her story.
Friedmann said that while immersion gives him joy, it might not be for everyone. Potential cold water divers should research for themselves and prepare mentally and physically before diving.
“I do it in the morning, it invigorates me, increases my energy level and prepares me for any challenge,” she explained.
Like everyone, there have been times when sleepless nights and multiple work projects exhausted her, but the relaxation after swimming and the feeling of bliss kept her alive. “It’s a period of reflection for me. I love the peace, the calm, the feeling of water, being immersed in nature and the fresh air, ”she said.
She started the daily dips on December 15, 2020, and although she was often out in the lake with friends, most of the days were solo.
Even solo there is still a ‘community feel’ near the walk, following its pre-dip running, stretching and yoga routine, as people stroll in the morning, cyclists, passers-by. and, of course, the cute dogs greet her.
Former Star reporter and photojournalist Dale Brazao, who photographed Friedmann for most of his aquatic trip and was there on Friday, said he first noticed the swimmer and her friends as he searched for photos of sunrise from the promenade.
He describes the scene that day as a “great shot, steam rising from their heads, backlit by the beautiful sun peering out to the horizon.”
Friedmann says she doesn’t stop at one year – she also plans to continue her journey until the end of 2022.
People can donate to Kids Help Phone through CanadaHelps.org until January 7.