Delimit My Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Hellen Keller

Archive for the category “Cold Shower Therapy”

Day 30 Cold Shower and Blogging Challenge Completed!

comfort-zoneJust 30 days ago, I took on the personal challenge, from ImpossibleHQ, to take a cold shower every day, and that I would blog every day. There was no way I could have known how cold those showers would be or the challenge of writing every day. Similarly, the powerful feeling I got today after accomplish a seemly impossible challenge, and the confidence that I have gained by facing my fears. I remember that first sleepless night when I was freaking out about taking my first cold shower the next morning. I was so nervous, and I had no clue about writing about myself, feelings and thoughts, with no filter. I wanted to give a real perspective on how I faced my fears without hiding my own insecurities.

Today, I have completed both my challenges, and I would like to share what I have learned over these past 30 days. Hopefully, these tips will help you if you decided to take the challenge.

  • People will think you are crazy for taking cold showers. Laugh at them because you are crazy, and you like it that way!
  • Cold showers feel amazing, invigorating, and you will laugh at once fearing them.
  • In general, writing is much hard than a cold shower, for the cold only lasts five minutes.
  • Fear is your minds way of saying “No!” Your obedience is not required as you can merely reply “Yes!” Don’t let your mind bully you.
  • Don’t think, breathe in, jump in, and exhale as the cold water hits you. This will guard you from the natural shock response, and you will find that a simple breathe calms the body more than you know.
  • You have to be honest with yourself, otherwise, you will never admit to having any fears.
  • Find some way of motivating yourself like blogging, daily pictures, friends, family, or anything that will keep you going on the hard days.
  • There will be hard days and you will want to quit. Don’t, because it’s more fun to feel like a badass later than a quitter now.
  • After 30 days, you will have found the badass inside and will want to conquer all your fears. For once you realize that they are not real, an entirely new world will open up before your eyes.
  • Always have a schedule for when you will write and keep to it. It will make the entire process much easier.
  • If you can’t write then simply write about the thoughts about not writing. Once you have started it’s easier to keep the momentum going and eventually a good idea will come.
  • Conquering the fear of public writing can be difficult so write from the heart, review it for a limited time, and post it immediately after. If you write about how you truly feel than you have nothing to fear.

I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk. ~ Tony Robbins

Day 29 A cold shower story

Buzz, buzz, buzz…! I lean over grabbing my phone off my desk, turn off the alarm, and lie back down. Convenient having a desk at the end of my bed, however, it makes it quite easy to not want to get out. I roll the bed covers over my face, just five more minutes. Of course, I’m awake now so sleep has forsaken me. I jump out of bed, no literally I drop like four feet, and walk over to my closet. Grab my towel, phone, and walk out of the door. The bathroom is immediately to the right, my roommate and the spare closet is to the left, and the living is straight ahead. I turn left, opening the closet door quietly so I don’t wake up my roommate, grab my shower stuff, and walk to the bathroom.

I close the bathroom door behind me and turn around to face the mirror. It’s a small bathroom with a sink and a mirror in the front, toilet seat to left, and a full shower further to the left. Everything seems to be squeezed in perfectly. I follow my normal route not really thinking about anything. I place my towel on the rack, in front of the toilet, my shampoo and body wash in the shower, and the rest, along with my phone, on the sink countertop. I walk over to the shower and turn the knob to cold. Pull up on the tab and the water starts shooting out of the shower head. I tilt the shower head downwards, for later when I get in. I turn around and set my timer to five minutes, not that I need it since I have the timing down perfectly. Strip off my cloths and walk over to the shower. I pull the current back and step in.

The icy cold water hits my feet but it feels good, like a nice cooling feeling.  I take a step forward towards the shower head and I feel the cold water covering my legs. I then breathe in deeply, and then out, as I push the shower head up towards my chest. The ice water shocks my body but it fun. I smile as my body wants to shiver from the freezing water sucking the heat from my chest. I keep moving undeterred by the feeling. I turn around facing in reverse. The shower head is a foot shorter than my head, so I kind of do the splits as I place my feet on opposite ends of the bathtub. This shortens me considerably so that I lean my head back into the stream of cold water. It instantly starts to freeze my scalp, going deeper into my brain, and slowly runs down my back tickling ever nerve. By now, my skin has fully tightened, as goose bumps spread across my body. I keep breathing, in and out, controlling my natural response to shiver.

I stand back up and grab my shampoo. As I lathering through my hair, I can’t feel the cold water on my back anymore. This happens quickly as my body adapts to the cold temperature.  I like this feeling but only because my chest isn’t used to anymore. I lather on my body wash and turn around to wash it off. The cold water strikes my chest, a rush of ice kissing my body, and I laugh a little. It’s like shock therapy for my mind, everything is intense and powerful. It makes me feel more alive and energize than anything I know! I turn around and wash out my hair, enjoying again the tickling feeling of freezing cold water rolling down my back. I turn to face the stream of water head on. I know that I only have about twenty more seconds. I force my face down down into the stream of cold water. The water feels amazing, invigorating, as the cold water flows over my face. This is my favorite part of taking cold showers, nothing else comes close.

Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Right on schedule! I turn the shower off and open the curtain. Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Reach over, grab my towel, and start drying off a little. I step out and turn off my phone. I’m a little cold now, and I can see that my lips are slightly blue in the mirror. I smile, at myself, feeling like a badass! I quickly dry off, put on my shorts, and go on with my day.

Nothing beats a cold shower in the morning!

Day 16 Know Yourself

Yesterday, I passed the half way mark on my thirty day cold shower challenge. The showers pretty much feel amazing now and I enjoy the new level of energy in the morning. However, I am even more ecstatic that I have kept up with my blogging promise, tackling my fear head on! The writing has been challenging and often frustrating but I have no regrets. It has given me the opportunity every day to think about something important and take the time to articulate my thoughts. Making me realize how thoughtful reflection gives me a clearer perspective on my life.

Consequently, I have recognized that I have become pretty comfortable with my cold showers. I do not fear them anymore so my comfort zone has expanded. This feels great because after finding a limit in my life I have been taking the steps to break past it. However, I want to delimit my life which means I need to figure out more limitations. I have been thinking about this since I started this blog and I haven’t found that many yet. I think it is because most people, me included, hide their limitation from themselves, denial being their biggest friend. So when trying to think about my fears, I freeze up and go blank. No one actually wants to admit they have fears at least to themselves. When I read about the cold shower challenge, I came face-to-face with a limitation, forcing me to confess my fear. Of course, I could have told myself a bunch of lies but I did not. I realized that I could never see myself taking cold showers for thirty days straight because at the time it seemed impossible. Now half way there, I know it’s possible and I feel crazy for ever thinking it wasn’t.

This is bad! Okay so you may be wondering why. It’s complacency, simply being a human means falling into this trap. Once you reach a solution that adequately solves a problem no further improvements will be made. So as I become comfortable with my cold showers, I will eventually fall back into a habit of not challenging myself. There is a similar problem with artificial evolution. An organism can only become as complex as the environment it lives in will allow. Thus, if I am going to continuing growing I need to add more complexity. Not in the sense of having a complicated life, simplicity is great, but in finding new challenges that will push my boundaries! In order to do this I need to understand what I fear and what I think is impossible!

This will of course take some time so my challenge is to find one limitation for the next ten posts. They will then be placed in my delimit list along with a challenge to get past them.

  1. Acrophobia, I have an irrational fear of heights. I get anxiety/panic, dizzy, and my hands get clammy.

The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer. ~ Adam Smith

Day 14 Just Write!

It’s been a long day and I’m quite tired, physically and mentally. My mind is telling me to go to sleep but my challenge is telling me to write. I keeping trying to think of a topic but my mind is blank. I mean I have some topics floating around up there but they would require more time and crafting. Not something I can just write in a few hours and more importantly with an exhausted mind. So what happens is that I get stuck in this cycle of thinking, what to write, but never actually writing. It just makes the whole challenge more difficult and it really starts to eat away at my sleep time. I really like sleep. To fix this I have a simple rule, just write! It’s a pretty common rule for most things in life, like just start. The idea is that once you start it becomes much easier to keep moving forward.  You know an object at rest stays at rest… unless acted upon by an unbalanced force, it’s a law of nature! So create an unbalanced force and get some words on that horrible blank page rather than have it just stares back whispering sweet nothings in your ear. The writing will probably not be beautiful, or elegant, but at least it’s a start. No one said anything about perfection.

My cold showers has been challenging, but I can feel myself getting used to the colder water. Still, I really have to focus on each breathe otherwise I start to shake and shiver uncontrollably. It’s kind of awesome to realizing how much power lies in a single breath. I have experience a similar effect in mediation which focuses on calming the mind and maintaining concentration. It’s nice to have a chance to use it in another area of my life. Also, I have adjusted to taking five minutes showers almost perfect because the alarm goes off right after I am finished with my routine. We are creatures of habit, defining who we are.

Something unusual happen today. One of the problems with a hot shower is that all of the mirrors get fogged up but that’s not a problem with cold showers because there is no steam. However, I got out of the shower today to a mostly fogged up mirror. I can definitely tell you that the water was ice cold because I was freezing. If it was hot or steamy, I would have known, and it hasn’t happened before. I still double checked the knob in the shower. Don’t really know why since I knew it was same old cold water, irrational compulsion I guess. Still I haven’t figured it out, and I am not warm enough after a cold shower to be creating any steam. Just thought it was funny to have the same old problems still.

  There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Day 12 Hidden Rose

Cold, shivering, freezing, painful, and uncomfortable all describe how I feel when I am taking a cold shower at my new place. The past two showers have been horrible, and the entire time I’m just wish it would end. Just admitting that makes me feel weak but I have to. I remind myself again and again that it is only five minutes and that I made it through the other cold showers. However, nothing I say changes my mind, which seems to be begging me to get out. The cold shower challenge is difficult because it pushes your mentality every morning. Any weakness is exploited and causes the entire experience to feel much worse.

I decided to save money on gas, mini challenge, and bike to my classes, about two miles one way. Not super far but the path is hilly and I haven’t biked in a few years. I also go to the gym in between classes. So my stamina has been weakened lately. The problem is that freaking cold shower remains a powerful force of discomfort and it just plain sucks. It is far colder than any shower I have taken before and I can’t seem to calm my body down during it. I find myself complaining about it throughout the day. It’s like a completely different experience than the ones before. This is causing me to feel less enthusiastic about my morning challenge. I have to be strong everyday when taking a freezing cold shower because they are not pleasant, they are not forgiving, and they will break you down, if you let them.

This is great though! Actually, it is amazing, fantastic, and wonderful! I have found a cold shower worthy of my fear and therefore found a limit in my life. I have finally delimited a part of my life but I just did not realize it. I had pushed up against it and my mind recoiled in panic, clouding my thoughts. Reflection helped me realize that I had finally come to a barrier in my life where I was not comfortable. I had a choice, to see thorns or roses! I chose to rejoice at my new challenge, my rose, to be conquered and surpassed so that I may continue to delimit my life!

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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