Bear-hugging somebody you’ve never met is not natural, regardless of social-distancing rules. Certainly not in London, where you don’t even make eye contact with strangers. Yet, a little while before lockdown, Tony Riddle, also known as “the Natural Life-Stylist”, greets me open-armed outside Highgate Men’s Pond. The rising sun is glinting orange off the frost-covered grass. I’m glad of the body heat.
I’m no stranger to ice baths and cryotherapy, which have become cool in fitness circles. Still, I’m apprehensive. The regulars at the pond are doubtless bemused by the sight of us sitting in the open-air changing area, inhaling and exhaling in time with a meditation app in order to “down-regulate” our systems.
I can’t help but notice that Riddle is in terrific nick for a 45-year-old. In September last year, to raise money for green causes, he ran the length of the UK from Lands’ End to John