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Learning to love the cold

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by Leanne Harple

CRAFTSBURY — Stephen “Hap” Whelpley of Craftsbury has an unusual wellness practice.  In the winter months, when he’s in Vermont at least, he willingly jumps through holes in the ice to bath himself in freezing cold water.

Mr. Whelpley is the sculling coach for the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, a training program through the Craftsbury Outdoor Center designed to prepare elite athletes for international competition.  In the spring, summer and fall, his team trains at Great Hosmer Pond, in Craftsbury.

When the pond freezes over, Mr. Whelpley eventually travels with the scullers to Florida for more liquid water training, but for the last couple of years, he’s taken some time before he leaves to reap the health benefits of cold water exposure.

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