For most of us, the only solace on a cold winter morning is to plunge ourselves into a good hot shower to wake us up – one Forkhill man, however, has vowed to do the exact opposite…
Diarmuid Farmer is instead opting to submerge himself in cold water, whether it be a cold shower, the sea or an icy rain barrel – and he’s been doing it every day through December.
You might think he’s gone mad, but it’s all for a good cause, as Diarmuid is raising money for the Southern Area Hospice in the process.
He’s no stranger to a challenge, as he runs Red Branch Bushcraft, a school which offers survival skills, courses and camps in the foothills of Slieve Gullion.
Diarmuid’s ‘Dip a Day in December’ started last year, when he raised just under £1,500 for the charity.
This year he has raised over £300 so far and hopes to boost that total by the end of the year, alongside promoting sales of the Southern Area Hospice bobble hat.
Speaking to Armagh I he said: “It’s the same craic as before. It was so popular last year and I raised so much money that I decided to just continue it!”
While this year’s cold weather hasn’t been quite as dramatic as last year’s, Diarmuid says the mental challenge and the motivation to get in every morning is just as difficult as before.
“The motivation is tough, every single day. When it’s dreary, rainy, miserable and it’s six in the morning, dark and you have to walk out to the tub, that’s the hard time to do it. That’s when you’re earning your keep.
“When you’re in the colder water it’s more difficult. Anything after two minutes actually can be quite painful because of the way it’s affecting your muscles.
“The mental challenge is always the same no matter what… but it’s actually a little bit more exciting when you have snow and ice!”
Diarmuid has been spending at least four minutes submerged each day, though he advises that doing this isn’t for the faint of heart.
“You go in for as long as you think you can stay for because when you start pushing it to extreme times, that’s when it becomes dangerous,” he said.