Have you ever heard of Wim Hof? He's the guy who ran up Mt. Everest with nothing but his boxers. Interesting but crazy man, I thought. Then he started popping up on every single podcast available. Apparently, he takes a lot of cold, cold showers. And it's supposed to have magical powers?
While I haven't tried the Wim Hof method extensively, what stuck was the cold showers. And now I can't imagine a day without a dump of cold water in the morning. Don't get me wrong, the fear right before the shower is still very much real, but they say cold showers strengthens immunity and improves blood circulation amongst other benefits.
So what has 365 days of cold morning showers taught me? I do feel more energized and like meditation, a cold morning shower starts my day on a positive, upbeat note. And the immunity part? I can't remember the last time I caught a cold, which used to be a common occurrence given San Francisco's bipolar weather.
Jumping into cold water is physically easy (anyone can do it), but it's a real tough mental game. More importantly, sticking to cold showers for a year and picking up a habit was a mental win. At the same time, you become less reactive and more observant. Like mindfulness training, you simply learn to observe the cold water spiking your bare skin vs. reacting to it. Hey...this isn't so bad, right?