RESISTANCE MOVEMENT. Shivering members and activists gathered to hold a banner action, followed by ice bathing, on Saturday 4 February.
The Resistance men initially gathered at the commercial and shopping area of Storheden in Luleå at lunchtime to hold a banner action for weekend shoppers. The weather gods seemingly wanted to put the comrades to the test, as the thermometer on the way there read -22°C. For natives of Norrbotten, such weather is not particularly remarkable, but even so it quickly became apparent that it was very cold to stand still and hold flagpoles and a banner for a long time in such conditions. Despite this, the comrades kept their spirits high, with the mantra “a Resistance man does not freeze” being repeated on more than one occasion.
The activity went well, with the banner being seen by many motorists braving the cold to get their shopping fix. Even the occasional snowmobile rider passed by and got to hear the message. Eventually, a police car arrived at the scene. The police presence was very short-lived, however, as the officers just walked over and ascertained that no offence had been committed, before quickly returning to the warmth of their patrol car.
After an hour the activity was concluded and the comrades packed up to move to the next activity: a refreshing ice bath in an ice hole in the Lule River.
There were some mixed feelings among the party when they arrived at the river, as they were already lacking feeling in some of their limbs and the rough weather had not abated. Also, no one in the group had tried ice bathing before, but it was just a matter of persevering and rising to the challenge.
One by one, the comrades descended into the cold water. Afterwards, they described the bathing experience as akin to being pricked by an endless number of needles. In addition, it was difficult to control one’s body and breathing. Once on land, everyone piled into a sauna that was close to the ice hole. Unfortunately, it was loaded with damp wood, meaning the floor was covered in ice and no heat was forthcoming. After trying – and failing – to heat up the sauna, the group decided to take another dip.
One effect of the ice bathing that seemed to hold true for all the participants was that – ironically enough – they weren’t very cold after taking a dip. After sitting for a while in the sauna and trying with mixed success to regain feeling in their hands and feet, the group decided to take a third dip. During the two previous sessions, the participants had worn hats and kept their hands above the surface of the water, on the recommendation of experienced ice bathers and with the very cold weather in mind. But for the final dip, they decided to do it properly and submerged themselves from head to toe. A seasoned ice bather who happened to be present – and who was unwilling to take a dip more than once himself, on account of how cold it was – remarked how impressed he was by what he saw, and wondered if the party were a little crazy after taking their final dip.
At this point, time was running out and the comrades had to bring the day to a close, even though some participants still had the urge to bathe. Everyone got dressed and went their separate ways, having agreed it had been a very good experience that should happen many more times in the Nest.