They are the walrus

It’s winter, so for most of us, it’s time to wrap up in our woollies to ward off the biting cold. Not so, however, for some intrepid go-getters in Russia — who put on their swimwear and take a dip in ice-cold water in frozen lakes and rivers.

Meet the audacious ice swimmers — or “walruses” as they like to be known — of Serebryanny Bor (literally “Silver Pinewood”), a picturesque expanse of white birch trees and small lakes northwest of Moscow.

This week, the amateur club of extreme bathers have been celebrating the start of their society’s 51st season.

At the opening of the new season, Sergei Maksimov, the chairman of the Serebryanny Bor winter swimming club, congratulated his devotees, giving the necessary instructions:

“Get ready for the swim! Change out of your clothes and approach the water pool. Quick, march!”

Among the walruses at season’s open were six children of local sportswoman Yulia Sovetskaya, who herself loves to go walrusing.

“My 5-year-old daughter Eva became a ‘walrus’ today,” she told Metro. “We go swimming in this water because it makes us healthy and teaches us about the strength and fortitude of our spirit, our mind.

“It’s not as horrific as it looks and feels,” she added. “My children don’t suffer.”

60 seconds with …

Sergei Maksimov, the chairman of the Serebryanny Bor winter swimming club, spoke to Metro about the distinctly Russian pursuit of ice swimming.

What does your club do?

It’s all about the promotion of a rigorous, healthy lifestyle, toughening our bodies up for resistance to diseases and the elements.

For how many years have you been “walrusing”?

For more than 50 years. I am actually 92 years old. I feel like I’m 35.

Tell us about the secrets to longevity and healthy living.

There are several conditions for longevity: The first one is a routine of conditioning so that the cold water acts like a panacea. The second one is a regimen of preparing your muscles before you dive; you must exercise first. The third aspect is good nutrition — healthy, natural food without any preservatives. The fourth one is hunger therapy to let your body heal itself from inside. 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Philly gets Flyered up at Flyers pep rally…

Monty Gee doesn't need another rally. He's ready for the parade. The loud and boisterous and colorfully clothed big man has lived and breathed Philadelphia…

Local

Could this be the end of ICE holds…

Mayor Michael Nutter directed city agencies to stop cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer holds via executive order today.

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Wellbeing

Oh baby: Scientists find protein that lets egg…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - You can forget about the birds and the bees. If you really want to learn how babies are made, you…

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.