Chun Kong Mak, One Very Hardened Butterflyer

Courtesy of Chun Kong Mak, Altenwörth, Niederösterreich, Austria..

After Pauline Barker completed the first Butterfly Ice Mile in Harthill Reservoir in Rotherham, England in 52 minutes on November 23rd 2016 in 4.73°C water.

Chun Kong Mak took up the challenge on February 16th in Altenwörth, Niederösterreich, Austria. He became the first man and second swimmer after Barker to complete Butterfly Ice Mile. He reports, “It was all legal fly, no wetsuit in 4.7°C water. 1609m at least in 43 minutes 3 seconds.

He described his achievement in more detail on Facebook, “[I will] share my mind flow from the amazing Ice Mile journey. Feel grateful that I completed 1609m under 5.0°C water in full butterfly stroke and became the first man in the world to finish this challenge after Pauline Barker as the first woman.

In the last 300m, my mind got into the state of flow. My consciousness decreased. Control in stroke, core and breathe started to be not so sharp. My mind and body just kept running like a mechanical machine with the butterfly motor program. When my mind started to be blur, that was when the meditation started. After the 43 minute swim, my mind blacked out for 20 minutes. I had no ideas how I went up from water and what happened after it.

Clarity of my mind was gained and thoughts became primitive when I just wanted to survive. Ideas and memories flashed through my mind . They just came and left. For example, work, job and career did not appear. This means one day when you would die, jobs and career are not important in life. You won’t even remember them before you will die.

Three voices pop up in my head:

First: my mum told me many times in my life “Mak Chun Kong, don’t do silly things please.” Sorry mum…I have ignored a lot of things you told in life.

Second: my coach told me “only swim when you are in control.” I told myself yes everything is still in control.

Third: My girlfriend told me “You can finish it!” My girl’s voice aligned with my mind the most. She was actually standing next to the ice pool and sending me tele-wish. The life environment where I grew has given to me too much fear. This 2 years of ice journey educates me to do things for love and passion. Choose the love over fear! Miracle can happen!

He acknowledged the help and support that the International Ice Swimming Association Austria team provided for the organization, and training and inspiration that he received from Rostislav Vítek and the support he received from Anna Klčová and Colin Bushweller.

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