Wednesday Workout: Hiking and Cold-Water Plunging with the Mooney Sisters

FasterSkierAugust 15, 2018
Mooney siblings (from left to right) Scott, Heather and Brooke after jumping into Lake 22 just outside of Seattle, Washington, following Brooke’s graduation from the University of Washington in June. “With two siblings peer pressure works wonders, not going to be the wimpy one who doesn’t jump in!” Heather wrote. (Courtesy photo)

Today’s Wednesday Workout is brought to you by the Mooney sisters, Heather, 24, and Brooke, 22, who grew up skiing in Peru, Vermont. Brooke is currently training with USRowing out of Princeton, New Jersey, while Heather is still skiing competitively and living in Bozeman, Montana. We interviewed the Mooney sisters earlier this summer; read the complete article here.


The following workout is a family hike that focuses on easy distance and mental recovery. The Mooney sisters emphasized the importance of taking a plunge in “a cold body of water” at some point, either during or post-hike. Again, plunging into a cold body of water is key to the workout.

Jumping into a glacial mountain lake may not seem very pleasant — one look at their brother Scott’s face in the above photo above tells it all all — however, the momentary chill is actually said to benefit both the body and psyche (think of the Finns).

Research shows that exposing the body to cold water, even in the form of a shower, can bring about positive physiological and psychological effects by increasing blood flow to the brain and extremities.

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“Besides the recovery aspect, plunging in cold water is proven to make you happier! (Thanks Mom for encouraging this from a young age),” Brooke and Heather wrote in a joint email to Fasterskier.

So bring on the rugged slopes and ice-capped waters. The frigid never stopped nordic skiers before.

The Workout: Easy distance family hike

Terrain: Mountainous

“Either a favorite mountain at home, or a thoughtfully selected new location from travel guide Mom (such as Lake 22 at Brooke’s graduation in Seattle a few weeks ago),” the siblings wrote in June. “Ideally somewhere with a nice view, or natural feature, with a lake or river for jumping in afterwards.”

Length of workout: As long or as short as desired

Purpose:Goals are to enjoy being outside with your family, or friends, or dog, or neighbor. Attention should be focused on appreciating nature and great company and how fortunate you are to have close friends/family to enjoy being outside with!” they wrote. “Attention should be specifically not focused on heart rate, duration, distance, or Strava segments (except for in the one instance when we went to our cousin’s wedding in Atlanta, found the biggest hill around via Strava, and naturally decided we needed to try and get the KOM, but it was still a family adventure).”

No. 1 Suggestion: “Trust that the less you think of it as ‘training’ the better it will be for you!” 


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