#30X Day 30 of my cold shower experiment
I stare at the shower head thinking I don’t really want to do this, I didn’t work out this morning, I already feel cold. Maybe I can institute a "workout rule" before a cold shower...
At the mid-way point of my 30-day challenge, I had a morning where I didn’t work out. I must admit it was really tough. The first few times I was hot and sweaty, and I took deep breaths to get my body ready for the cold. I was trying to follow Wim Hof’s deep breathing exercises before the cold shower. It wasn’t bad, but I was ready for a cold shower anyway. This morning, however got me a little anxious. I was already thinking about it the night before, knowing I won’t be able to work out as I had to prep for a morning meeting, my reptilian brain was already pushing me to weasel out. That’s how our inner voices constantly sabotage our goals. Damn the brain!
But in my mind, there was no other way. Cheat myself? Why? What's the point? I committed to this challenge and I told my wife I would do it. Do I want to be the type of person that don’t follow through on what they say? Not if I can help it. I stared at the shower head and turned on the blast of cold water anyway. Just get that shit done. It’s shocks the system when the freezing water first hits my head, but then it turns into this refreshing feeling, followed by slight numbness of the fingers but it never really hurts and the discomfort eventually goes away. I have turned the water colder at times because the shocking first blast set the bar of how cold it should be. I must admit though, I haven’t timed how long my showers are, but from what I can tell, it’s not any shorter than when I had hot showers. One thing that’s different though, it always turns into a feeling of pride. Even if it feels like such a small thing, I did something my inner voice says is crazy and stupid to do.
And for me, that is precisely the reason why I want to do it. Why I need to. By practicing facing discomfort, I train my mind to be hardened. It strengthens my “get it done” muscle. I fully buy into David Goggin’s philosophy of being the uncommon among the uncommon and using physical training to train the mind. If my mind says it’s crazy to attempt something, it really means I need to just do it. If I think anyone who is normal will never do this, it means I need to do it. There is no choice for me - because I want to grow and I truly believe it comes from struggling.
So 30 days into it, I’ve actually lost count after that. Now I don’t even prep for it through breathing anymore, I just kinda submit to my “fate” and turn on the freezing water when I step in. It’s just what I do. Is the voice still there? Of course. Just like my 4.30 am morning routine, the voice is always there, telling me to quit, to stop, that it’s just crazy. I then reply, yes, I know and that’s why I’m doing it.