Resisting the Cold - Life Beyond The Zero

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Some seek it for adventurous challenges, some use it as a tool for health therapy, some get miserably overwhelmed by it every year, and for some, it's just a part of everyday life: There are several widely differing perspectives on harshly cold temperatures that go far beyond zero. For the most part, these attitudes towards the inconveniences occurring with the decrease of degrees are relative to the circumstances people grew up in. While firefighters of metropolises and smaller towns are tested every wintertime, somehow trying to withstand the chaos of snowstorms, humans living in the planet's coldest environments have no other choice but to adapt to the icing conditions.

For people from parts of the earth where snow is either non-existent or mostly moderate, it's hard to imagine a life in cities like Yakutsk. With an average of minus 50 degrees, the area around Yakutsk is considered the coldest inhabited place worldwide. The bitter frost comes with several difficulties: For instance, the frozen ground makes indoor plumbing difficult, so most toilets are outhouses. In order to resist the harshness of the winter weather, one of the rare remedies to stay warm is alcohol.

Even though most ordinary people cannot relate to this kind of life, some seek the frigid cold deliberately. Besides the obvious, like professionals pursuing adventurous expeditions in Antarctica, athletes climbing the planet's highest mountains, or even surfers trying to embrace unusual places like Iceland, there are also people like Wim Hof. Also known as the "Iceman," the Dutch seeks the frost for therapy purposes. From climbing the Kilimandscharo or running a marathon in Finland with no equipment but shoes and shorts to staying in ice water for over 52 minutes, the extreme athlete was able to break the boundaries of human capabilities. These questionable challenges were nothing but a mere demonstration of the impact of his personal advancement of a traditional Tibetan meditation technique called Tummo, allowing him to control the immune system to prevent inflammatory reactions.

Freezing temperatures put the human body under stress. Hence, it's unlikely to feel comfortable in these frigid situations, leading most people to avoid the bitter cold. However, there is a certain sense of beauty lying in this unholy brutality of the weather that is limited to only those who can withstand it. Not only the virtue of overcoming discomfort and resistance but the grace of a frozen, glittering surrounding.

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