“It feels incredible,” Earle says
South Peace News
Peace River’s Iceman has completed his goal of taking 100 consecutive ice water dips.
John Mark Earle has been cutting holes in the ice of the Peace River and other local bodies of water every day since Dec. 16, 2019 and then submerging himself despite northern Alberta’s freezing winter temperatures. The water is so cold that ice often starts to form around him.
“This winter the cold and the darkness did not make me go into hiding. I got out every day and met winter face to face,” Earle says.
“I wanted to not hide from winter.”
Earle says getting outdoors and facing the cold has helped him learn to start to face other things he would rather avoid as well. It has also taught him to face his own body’s fight or flight response and breathe through it, reducing his own stress.
“Even though my spoken goal was 100 days it was really about my own mental health,” Earle says.
Earle has been chronicling his entire journey on Instagram. He completed his 100th ice dip on March 24.
“It feels incredible,” Earle says.
“I am still in the process of trying to figure out what all the outcomes have been and what it will be like moving forward. I don’t plan to stop, at least for now.”
Friends celebrated his accomplishment with a small party on the river near the boat launch in south Peace.
Peggy Pike, who helped organize the modest celebration for Earle, says while fears of COVID-19 did dampen things a little, it was still a lovely event.
“We did put up signs asking anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to not participate and asked everyone to practice social distancing,” Pike says.
Pike and her husband, Shawn Breen, gave Earle an “Iceman” superhero cape and ordered him a cake from a Berwyn baker for the occasion.
Earle says over his 100 days of dips he had 86 other people come and try it with him.
For his 100th dip, Earle spent a total of 20 minutes and 20 seconds in the water, a personal record.
“It was remarkable,” Pike says.
At press time Earle had completed 102 total consecutive ice water dips with no plans to stop.
The most famous advocate of ice baths is Wim Hof, a Dutch man who holds multiple world records for cold exposure and teaches his method to people around the world via workshops and a custom app.