By TRACEY ROXBURGH
Shiver me timbers, he did it.
Queenstowner Paddy Turnhout celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday night by spending 23 minutes in an ice bath, where the water ranged in temperature from just 3.9degC to 4.5degC.
At the same time he and his mates were raising money and awareness for the I Am Hope charity, set up by comedian Mike King to help Kiwi kids get free mental health counselling when they need it most.
Turnhout, who says it’s the hardest thing he’s ever done, and his personal training colleague Chaz Monaghan spent a total of 276 minutes in the ice bath this month, starting with 60 seconds on March 1 and increasing the time by one minute every day till they reached Turnhout’s 23rd birthday, on March 23.
Along the way others have jumped in with them for a few minutes at a time to support them.
Monaghan: ‘‘There were a couple of scary moments there afterwards with convulsions and involuntary shaking, but we made it out the other side.
‘‘The 20-minute bath was the worst convulsion-wise, we had someone new in there … and the emergency reflective blankets were needed afterwards.
‘‘We wouldn’t recommend anyone do it over 10 minutes without having serious training.
‘‘[But] the key thing was to think about the hardships others have gone through, and our own pain being nothing in comparison.’’
By Wednesday afternoon they’d also raised just over $3660 for the mental health charity on their Givealittle page — ‘A Mental Challenge for Mental Health’.
Monaghan says they’re already thinking about what their next challenge will be, and which
charity it’ll support.