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Episode 21 - Liv Wawryk

Pulling the Behind The Goggles Podcast out of hibernation is the delightfully undertstated but fiercely determined Liv Wawryk.

Her swimming story is just too good to not share with you.

Liv initally was a squad swimmer who became a high school state representive in Water Polo.

She loved both these sports, however in her University days and later life she let them fade off.

On a promise to resume her swimming fitness and passion, Liv decide that 2020 was her year to get back in the pool.

Unfortunately the pools were closed due to Covid.

So, like many people living close to the beach - Open water swimming became a default.

Liv had listened to an online discussion about open water swimming via the Swimwell and Bayside swimming group. And was helpfully guided by an Elwood Seagal to swim with buddies in a newly established group.

Going from strength to strength, despite a serious break in her arm - keeping her out action for a few months - Liv was happy with her progress and heard whispers of swim crossing from Point Nepean to Queenscliff... in the middle of winter... with no wetsuit.

The was The RIP event - co-ordinated by Grant Siedle.

Challenge accepted... off she went to blitz that event!

I was unable to congratulate her on the shores of Queenscliff - but I did knit her a bright pink Beanie to celebrate her winter achievement. Little did I know it would be featured in her next challenge....

The Ice Mile.

Liv is unsure where the inspiration came from to challenge herself to swim the Ice Mile, but she started with purchasing an old chest freezer and creating an ice bath! 3 minutes a day.. every day was her cold weather therapy as well as swimming daily in Port Phillip Bay in Melbournes winter conditions of approximately 10c water.

Liv was assisted in her training by Wyatt Song, who has swum the event 3 times.

The Ice Mile challenge is set by the International Ice Swimming Association.

The task is to swim 1.6km (a mile) in water below 5c wearing only swimwear (no wetsuit), rubber swim cap and goggles.

Liv was ready to swim her event in September and travelled to Thredbo where a 80m course is set up in a pond at the edge of the ski fields.

She swam past the 1km mark however pulled out of the swim before the 1.6km mile was completed.

Suffering from various degrees of hypothermia she was disoriented as to how much further she needed to swim. Upon hearing that it was only 150m more to complete the challenge she was absolutely devastated!!

Fortunately Liv was given another opportunity to swim again!

A serendipitous achievement- the day after her 30th Birthday, Liv became the 30th Australian to complete the Ice Mile.

In the conversation Liv says that she could possibly have done with some more mental control and breathing work following the popular program of Wim Hof. However she believes stubbornness got her over the line and is proud of her success. Those of us who know her, think she's an absolute legend!

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