The Faabulous Warriors looking... Fabulous!

WIM HOF WINTER EXPEDITION X FAABULOUS WARRIORS

In January 2020, Vic and I joined the extreme Wim Hof Method Winter Expedition in Poland. These fantastic individuals pictured are ‘The ‘Faabulous Warriors’ – our team pushing each other to the max!

“Catering to those who are looking for the ultimate Wim Hof Method experience, our flagship Expeditions provide an adventure that goes above and beyond any workshop.”

Wim Hof & Inner Fire

The one-year anniversary video at the bottom shares the takeaways from the unforgettable experience and moments of growth in the year since taking part in the Winter Expedition. It would be simply ‘faabulous’ if it helps other people find the WHM for a better mind and body connection.

Who are the Faabulous Warriors?

100 people from all walks of life, total strangers and from literally all across the planet arrived at Wim’s retreat in the snowy mountains of Poland. Different cultures and with different outlooks on life. Normally you wouldn’t find these people hanging out together, but here there was a common goal. To find your limits, to push yourself and to take control of your body and mind.

Faabulous? Well, we were split into four teams of roughly 25 guys and girls. Our fabulous instructor, and team leader, is named Fabiana and her nickname is Faab. Combine this with a real spirit to ‘crush it’ and we became the Warriors.

What was apparent right from the start was the many different personalities, from the outgoing extroverts to those quietly philosophical and everything in between. There were experienced practitioners of the Wim Hof Method, cold water swimmers, yoga and meditation experts. And there were the total novices with no idea of what to do but there for a challenge, to challenge themselves. The surprise in all this was how quickly everyone gelled and formed relationships with a real willingness to explore our emotions.

During the five-day expedition, of course, there were the ice baths – very cold in the nearby river – but also guided breathing and meditation. And plenty of time to get to know each other.

What may not be immediately apparent to those who have not been to a Wim Hof Experience is that it is quite male-dominated. Perhaps this is legacy in how Wim came across in the media, being quite forceful in his message that resonates more with guys? In any event, we had five ladies in our team but the guys were more than willing to explore their emotional sides.

The team created a deep and meaningful bond and are still very much in contact online, spurring on and encouraging each other.

Breathe Mofo!

The star of the show is, naturally, Wim Hof himself. He came down from his house to the hotel most of us were staying at and his message was commanding and powerful. He has a great presence and a certainty of belief that is mesmerising. When he guides the breathing session it becomes just that much more immersive.

His favourite expression could possibly be: breathe motherfucker! As in, just DO it. Stop doubting or second-guessing. Just accept it and go with it. And feel the results. These were very emotional moments with a lot of tears and hugging after an hour session. Yes, grown men openly crying and hugging each other! Shock and horror.

But this seems to have typified the thoughts of everyone going into the expedition. Leave your ego at the door. We’re in this together. Just the simple fact that you’re here implies being on the same page. Searching for and practising better self-awareness, taking control of your body and understanding your place on this earth.

SO GREAT TO CELEBRATE OUR ADVENTURE, OUR YEAR AND OUR SPECIAL BOND!

Faabulous Warriors

Ice Cold

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the ice-cold baths. This was new territory for me and it looked very intimidating. We did the ice baths in the river nearby. This runs along just slowly enough to have a layer of ice form on the surface (which we needed to break every morning). But also fast enough that – when you’re in the water – it wicks away any of the thin layer of body heat you may have around you. So you’re far colder than if in a tub full of ice.

This started with a one-minute session. All of us are in the water at the same time. It may not sound long, but trust me it certainly feels it. Especially if you’re one of the first into the water and need to wait until everyone is in before the timer starts! And that was our tactic – a couple of us newbies. Don’t hesitate, just get in the water.

It does take your breath away. But if you do as instructed, breathe out long breaths you will manage. And you won’t get frostbite! Warming up on the river’s edge with the unique twisting body movement is quite a challenge. It works – but your feet and fingers take a beating from the cold.

We built up the number of minutes during the week and ended with ten(!) minutes in the water. Wim was there with us, leading the way. I think this would have been impossible without the mutual support from everyone in the team. It speaks volumes for the team spirit that when Monica got out, shivering, after five minutes it was no big deal. Everyone still congratulating and shouting support from the water. So much so that she jumped back in! I’ll leave it there…

The Mountain

On the fourth day, we went for a stroll. All one hundred of us in a long line, Wim part of the crowd. Only, we had to hike up a mountain. IN the snow. Wearing only shorts and boots. This was another display of solidarity and unity. And a willingness to push beyond your self-imposed physical boundaries. We were lucky on the way up, but on the descent, the snow and wind picked up. It made for a surreal moment as the picture up top shows. Just another amazing memory to add to a special week.

Is it worth it?

In one word – hell, yes! There are many facets to this. You meet people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, ages, personal situations… You expect a challenge, and that’s what you get. The breathing, meditation, discussions, ice baths, cold exposure. You surprise yourself with your resilience. You gain confidence – in your body and your mind. But most of all you come away with real love, real friendships, real bonds.

Can you imagine being put into a room with twenty other people? How many of them would or could you connect with? Two or three? Maybe five? How often does it come about that everyone is able to hang out and have deep conversations with the whole group? This kind of hit home to me the most and is possibly the second best take-home from the expedition – besides having a deeper respect for myself…

Get to one of these Wim Hof Expeditions if you can. It will be the best experience you have had. And I say this as a complete novice on the subject – having been dragged there by Vic, of course. It was, in one word, fabulous!

Huge thanks go to our ‘faabulous’ teammates, to Wim Hof and family, the rest of the ‘Inner Fire’ team and of course, our wonderful Instructors.

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