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Why this Okanagan woman took not one, but 12 polar bear dips

Kelowna woman Mix Hart took 12 chilly dips in Okanagan Lake to raise awareness about the value of clean water.
Image Credit: mixhart.ca
January 02, 2015 - 1:44 PM

OKANAGAN - If you thought this week’s Polar Bear Swim participants were nuts, you won’t believe what this Okanagan mom has been doing for the past three months.

Along with her sister and 14-year-old daughter, Kelowna resident Mix Hart has been taking a dip in Okanagan Lake once a week for the past 12 weeks. They started on Thanksgiving and took their last swim New Years Day. They dubbed the adventure the Okanagan Lake Dip Challenge and put New Years Day Polar Bear Swim participants in Kelowna, SummerlandVernon and Peachland to shame. 

“This challenge has taught me a few things. One is that I will never again hesitate to jump in the lake from spring to fall. The temperature of the water from April through October will always feel tropical to me now,” Hart wrote on her blog.

“Another thing is that the pain from cold water does not hurt any less, no matter how many times we get in the winter lake. However, what gets easier is that the fear associated with the pain vanishes the more dips we do; we accept that we will hurt momentarily and we no longer care. I guess the saying is true, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Hart wanted to raise awareness about how valuable Canadian water is, and courageously decided to go swimming in sub-zero weather to get her point across. The final swim came with a temperature of -6 C and a strong wind.

While not everyone is as keen on jumping into frigid lake water as Hart, there are other ways to take action. Hart is encouraging people to send letters to their local mayors, urging municipalities to decree all residents have the right to clean water and clean air. Another way to get involved is to join the Blue Dot movement, Hart says.

Credit: YouTube/ Mix Hart

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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