Weird challenges are the bread and butter of a YouTuber’s existence; they’re the fuel for that neverending churn of #content, and they’re what keep subscribers coming back. So what does a vlogger do when they’re forced to stay at home?
While in quarantine, Australian YouTuber Laurie Shaw decided to set himself the kind of challenge he could do without leaving the property: spend 24 hours treading water in his pool. The rules are simple. He is not allowed to touch the bottom or the sides of the pool at any time, he just has to stay afloat.
It isn’t until he’s already in the pool that Laurie realizes; at some point he may need to use the bathroom. So he swears off eating and drinking for the entire 24-hour period, making it a fasting challenge as well as a swimming one.
He decides that if he starts doing laps, it will both help the time pass, and enable him to work on his fitness while he’s in the pool. But that plan doesn’t last very long. “Can I tell you something bad?” He says. “It’s five minutes in, and I’m really really tired.”
It soon becomes clear that the challenge, which began as a bit of fun, is not one to be taken lightly, and is taking a physical toll.
“This has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done,” Laurie says at the 6-hour mark, with 18 hours left to go. “I’m finding it really hard to breathe. I don’t know if that’s because of the cold, or because I’m so tired, but my chest feels really heavy… I swear I’m going crazy in here.””
Prior to this, the longest record for treading water was 18 hours, and Laurie is confident that he will be able to make history and set a new record with his 24-hour stint in the pool. But alas, after lasting 6 hours 23 minutes in the water, he is forced to quit, due to pain in his chest and back. And while treading water for 6 hours is not nothing, it does not a record make.
“I think it was a combination of the tiredness and the cold,” he says. “I really wanted to push through, but I realized I probably wouldn’t make it through the night… It’s crazy how much energy drains from you as you try and stay afloat.”
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