Ryan Stramrood stands at the top of the gangway stairs that are lowered down the side of an ocean liner in one of the coldest, most hostile places on Earth – Antarctica. He wears only a small Speedo costume, goggles and a swim cap. Over a hundred passengers, wearing thick layers of insulation to protect from the bitter cold, are leaning over the ship’s railing on the upper decks, cheering and desperate to get a glimpse, in morbid fascination, of what is about to happen. What Ryan is about to attempt could potentially push boundaries beyond what humans can survive.
Only a few years earlier, Ryan was a self-proclaimed couch potato. A 30-year-old salesman and father, navigating life quite successfully, albeit neatly confined in his comfort zone. Today he is a multiple Guinness World Record holder, rated globally as one of the top 50 extreme swimming athletes in the world, and a sought-after international inspirational speaker.
Through his frequent exposure to, and survival of, deadly ice water situations, Ryan has slowly unlocked a unique understanding of the mind. Not just an understanding of how powerful it is, but rather an eye-opening account to some of the great mental paradoxes we all deal with subconsciously, and which ultimately dictate the direction of our lives.