Cold showers SUCK, but have given me gifts and lessons, that have made me stronger.
Two years ago the cold shower challenge was circulating through the mastermind group I was in and not wanting to be left behind I decided to do it to. For thirty days I took a 5 minute cold shower in the morning. It was not fun, it did not feel good.
Frankly, most mornings I made up every excuse I could think of to get out of it, no one will know if I take a cold shower or not… But I would know. So every morning I turned on the water to the coldest setting and jumped in.
The first week I squealed each time I jumped in, echoing down the halls of my house and waking up my roomies.
By the second week I learned that if I started humming a tune before I jumped in, the squealing was squelched, my roomies were very appreciative of this.
When the third week came around I might even say they became tolerable. Granted my mind has likely polished up that memory, to make it look shiny and desirable.
Then the fourth week came around and I started to see the benefits in the rest of my life.
If you cannot make the conscious decision to be uncomfortable for 5 minutes, how can you ever make the decision to be uncomfortable when chasing your dreams?
The cold showers were training for my willpower muscle, making me mentally stronger. So I could be better prepared to attack the uncomfortable conversations and decisions in the rest of my life.
Had I not trained my willpower muscle, I doubt I would have ever quit my corporate job and moved to South East Asia. I would not have created this blog. I would not have the willpower to write regularly.
Hot water in South East Asia is also a grand luxury. Half the places I have stayed at say they have hot water, but advertisements often fail to show us what the reality is. The other half are admirably truthful, shared bathroom with a shower, no mention of hot water.
The cold shower challenge helped prepare me to live life. I mean really live life. Going backpacking and bathing in a stream of ice melt. Going to burning man and using a shower bag to rinse off the dirt and grime, accumulated from hours on the dance floors and in dust storms. Traveling through third world countries where the water ‘heater’ is on the wall of the shower stall, barely working, if at all.
I now find myself living in Bali and my place has no water heater at all. Cold showers are no longer a challenge, they are a daily reality, where the well water is colder than the ocean I swim in.
If you have never tried it, I encourage you to do a 30 day cold shower challenge. If you have already done it, I encourage you to do it again, to work that willpower muscle.
I want you to be able to live life, go with the flow, explore the world, and chase your dreams.
If the mental benefits are not enough to get you to turn the shower knob to cold, then look up ‘Health Benefits of Cold Showers’ to see the physical benefits you will also gain from such a crazy challenge.
You can rest assured I will be waking up and enjoying a cold shower as well. I have no choice.
Misery loves company, but the misery of cold showers eventually turns to joy as the benefits ripple out into the rest of your life. My life has greatly improved from it. Won’t you join me?
Remember: Not all of your showers have to be cold, just make the first one of the day count and enjoy the times you get to make such a choice.