WATER. The fountain of youth, better skin, less cravings, more energy, better digestion, less headaches, a higher metabolism, better mood, and an ability to concentrate more. That's just from drinking it. Getting out and playing in a big ol' body of it is a whole other ballgame.
We speak with professional water lover and Ironwoman World Champ, Harriet Brown, about her relationship with this liquid gold.
What's the most clumsy (but also hilarious) thing you've done in the water?
Swam into the edge of the pool playing Marco Polo. I swam pretty hard and ended up with two circle indents from my goggles. Ouch!
How long have you had to live without hot water? Or showering?
Hot water…three weeks in Sri Lanka but it was summer so that was fine.
We had to go without hot water for two weeks in winter in Geelong when the gas wasn't working. Mum used to boil the kettle for a bath instead of having a shower. A cold shower wasn't possible brrrrr.
Showering…probably only two days during an international flight. Most things I do seem to revolve around water.
What's the longest time you've spent in the water, and why?
Paddling from Molokai to Oahu (two islands in Hawaii) in a paddle board race. The event took me over five hours!
If you could swim anywhere in the world, where would it be?
In a hole cut into the ice.
Where is the most beautiful place you've swum?
I can't pick just one... Top three are:
💦 Huahine – Tahiti
💦 Hot springs – NT
💦 Biarritz – France
Does the rain make you perform better, or worse, while competing?
I don't think it has an effect on my racing. But I love training in the rain. Some of my favourite sessions have been paddling when it's pouring rain but offshore and calm.
Serious question; scariest water experience?
I was on a family holiday in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. Dan, my sister, and I decided to challenge each other to swim across to the other side of this little lake we stopped at. We made it half way when mum found signs saying 'beware crocodiles'. I panicked. My heart was pounding as I was visualizing a croc coming up in front of me. We made it back to land safely. That was the most scared in water I have ever been.
What's your biggest wipeout?
I have had a few. The ones resulting in injury are usually the worst. I have had a broken finger, lost a tooth, split my forehead open and torn ligaments in my ankle. But not all at once.
Most beautiful thing you've seen underwater/swam with?
I have swam with the manta rays and reef sharks in Tahiti. They swam so close I could touch and feed them. The water was so clear, it was just the most incredible experience.
What is your favourite kind of drinking water, and why?
Water fresh from a cool mountain stream!
Have you been to Wet 'n' Wild / Sea World / any other water theme parks? What's your fave ride?
I have lived on the Gold Coast for almost 10 years and still haven't been to the theme parks. I should go.
On a family holiday to Vietnam we went to a water park. I stood out... a white blonde girl 2ft taller than everyone else!
Water cooler conversations, what's your opener?
Did you know that these paper takeaway cups are not recyclable? They are coated in plastic and end up in landfill. (gotta look after the ocean)
Are you a scorching hot shower kinda gal, or prefer a cool soothing splash?
It depends on the weather…. If the ocean is cold I'm a scorching hot shower girl. On a hot day, cold showers all the way!
What's your favourite addition to a relaxing bath?
Red wine, music and epson salts.
Frozen water; favourite snow memories!
Racing for my school in an inter-school skiing comp. I was fast certainly not elegant; my arms and legs went everywhere.
Follow Harriet's love affair with water and her professional Ironwoman journey:
Love, Jolyn Australia x.