split image of Katarzyna in ice box

After standing in a box full of ice for over three hours, Katarzyna Jakubowska (Poland) has become the first ever woman to pass the ultimate test of cold endurance.

The 48-year-old set the world record for the longest duration full body contact with ice (female) with an impressive time of 3 hr 6 min 45 sec.

Wim “The Iceman” Hof formerly held the men’s record with a time of 1 hr 53 min, and the current record is 3 hr 11 min 27 sec, achieved by Krzysztof Gajewski (Poland).

Katarzyna, who works as a designer, attempted this record to test herself and to encourage more female participation in ice challenges.

“I believe that we have great strength as women,” she said. “I wanted to show with my person that if we want something, we can do it.”

Before attempting the record, Katarzyna underwent a variety of medical tests to ensure that it wouldn’t adversely affect her health.

She prepared for the challenge by doing three practise attempts, during which she monitored her body temperature fluctuations.

Her other preparations included treatments such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy and massages, as well as self-hypnosis to put herself into a positive frame of mind.

Katarzyna says she did not feel any pain or discomfort during her record attempt – in fact, she barely felt the cold at all: “The cold is not an obstacle for me, I can find warmth in it.

“I can control what I'm in and my head knows when it needs to send a signal to shiver more and keep the temperature up.

Katarzyna standing in ice box

“The most difficult moment was when I saw that the audience was terrified, halfway through my time. Earlier I asked to explain to the audience why my body was trembling, because not everyone understands it and it is a normal process.”

As the winner of the women’s category in the 2023 Polish Walrus Championships – a competition where challengers attempt to be the last one standing in a tub of ice – Katarzyna is used to pushing her body to such extremes.

Throughout the record attempt, her body temperature and state of consciousness were regularly monitored to ensure she was fit to continue.

Katarzyna shouting in ice box

Katarzyna now plans to attempt more ice-related world records and prove that women can perform at a similar – or even higher – level than men.

“I am an ordinary woman who dreamed of becoming a Guinness World Records title holder and wanted to open the way for others,” she said.

“I feel satisfaction that in spite of various obstacles, I have such strength in me.

“I wish everyone the courage not to be afraid to dream and make those dreams come true!”

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