Few can deny that the BBC’s ‘Fight the Freeze’ is one of the toughest physical endurance shows to hit our tv screens.
The contestants are being subjected to the most vicious of challenges as they sit in barrels of ice, endure snow blizzards wearing only their swimsuits and jump into lakes covered in dense layers of ice.
But for Ammanford weatherman Owain Wyn Evans, the task is even tougher.
Owain suffers from Raynaud’s Syndrome, which is a blood circulatory disorder affecting his fingers and toes. And when temperatures drop, his hands and feet change colour, they become extremely sore, and eventually they turn numb.
“Often in the winter when I get into my car I scream, just because of the pain I feel in such cold temperatures,” he said.
So the question has to be asked: Why in the world did Owain decide to take part in such a gruelling programme?
His answer is an interesting one.
“I first met Wim Hof (the iceman who features in the programme) several years ago when I was filming for The One Show. And I was absolutely intrigued by him
"His method is to overcome incredible feats of endurance by developing command over the body, breath and mind through specific breathing techniques and by tolerance to extreme temperatures. And I really wanted to find out more about this and use it as a tool to help me with my own mental health.
“Anxiety has been a constant battle throughout my life which is why my drumming is so important to me. Growing up as a young gay man in the '80s and '90s was at times terrifying. We were hearing so much about HIV and Aids and the way gay people were being portrayed was as sad, lonely souls who were really struggling. Of course none of this was true for me because I had a loving family, but it still made me feel anxious and I sometimes felt that people were inadvertently trying to shame me.”
Owain and his ‘Fight the Freeze’ colleagues are now nearing the end of the six-part series.
“I can honestly say I’ve learnt so much from what I’ve done. Yes, it’s been tough and there’ve been times when I’ve found it extremely difficult to attempt the challenges before me, but I can honestly say that to have had this opportunity to be taught how to remove myself from the depths of my mind and remain focussed on the present is totally incredible. The breathing technique and even the occasional cold shower is something I shall continue doing for a very long time to come.”