Sarah Barraud comes from Morges on the shores of Lake Geneva. Exercise of any kind has always been her greatest passion and swimming in the lake is one of the highlights of her sports program. Since 2017, this has not come to an end with the onset of the cool season: Sarah dares to venture into the icy floods even in winter – and enjoys it!
Sarah, how did you come up with the idea of swimming in the lake in winter?
Blame a somewhat crazy colleague who persuaded me to take part in the Christmas swim in Geneva in 2017: about 100 meters in the bay, in the middle of December and in a swimsuit! At first I thought it couldn't be done, but I love challenges. Since then, I have been swimming with the same enthusiasm every winter.
What do you wear when swimming in 6 degrees cold water?
My swimsuit! If you just keep swimming in autumn and slowly get used to the falling temperatures, that's enough. My only concession to the cold is a swimming cap when the water temperature drops below 10 degrees, and shoes. This prevents me from losing too much heat over my head or slipping out when I get out of the water. When your feet are so cold, you don't feel anything anymore.
Do you throw yourself alone into the icy floods?
No, we meet as a group – this ensures safety and is also more fun. We stay in the water for about ten minutes and then come out wonderfully refreshed. Ideally, one minute stay per degree Celsius is calculated. At six degrees, you only stay in the water for six minutes. Afterwards there is nothing better to warm up than hot tea and a round of laughter with the friends. By the way, I have already won a colleague for the group.
Immersion in ice-cold water takes incredible overcoming. Your recipe?
In the beginning, the challenge appealed to me. Now I do it on the one hand because of the magnificent view and because winter swimming is extremely good for me: It reduces stress and pain, increases well-being and is good for the skin. You just have to start!
Place of work: Crissier, Switzerland Function: Reception staff Other activities: Sports coach Passion: Exercise Ambition: To convince as many people as possible of the therapeutic effect of sport – also at Implenia Motto: Stay tuned and keep developing