Delimit My Life

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

Archive for the tag “cold shower therapy”

Day 8 A Cold Shower Story

I thought it would be fun and a little challenging to write about one of my cold showers in the fashion of a story. This would be a first so I hope you enjoy.

Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Agh morning already, I reach over to turn off the phone. I lay in my warm and oh so cozy bed not wanting to move or get up. Whatever, I am awake now got to start the day sometime. I grab my towel, shampoo, and body wash and head over to the guest bathroom. The bathroom has fake wood panel flooring with a Native American theme for the decor. I place my towel on a bathroom counter and put my shampoo and body wash into the shower. It’s a long shower one of those bath tubs and showers combined with two glass sliding doors.

I turn the shower knob slightly to the left just enough to let cold water start rushing out. Then I pull up on a lever forcing the water to shoot out of the shower head. The water feels pretty cold as I stick my hand in stream to test it out. It reminds me of how I felt jumping over a sprinkler on a hot summer day. When that water first hit me as a child and I would let out a little scream of terror and enjoyment, mixed emotions that only seem like fun and excitement back then. But to a tired mind, the water only sends signals ice, pain, and panic. I ignore these thoughts and move on.

I like walking into the shower from the back, habit I guess, so I slide the glass door closed and open the back one. I undress and extend one leg into the shower. The feeling of the water sends a shiver crawling up my back. The worst part though is yet to come, and I even consider this feeling easy. Not stopping or freezing, I keep moving forward. I start moving towards the front of the shower and my thoughts tell that the “best” part is about to happen. When that cold water first hits my chest, it’s like someone pouring hundreds of ice cubes down my shirt. Except, I have to keep them there for a whole five minutes.

As the cold water hits my stomach, I immediately take a deep breath in. Otherwise, the shock will force a painful gasp. My entire body goes on alert and every little hair feels likes its standing awake, goose bumps ripping down my body. My skin tightens and my muscles quiver. I remind myself to breath normally and in controlled paces. This calms the initial panic and steadies my mind. Although this all happens in what could be seconds, it feels quite long. The skin remains tight but the panic fades. I turn around, grab the shampoo, and start cleaning my hair. Then I grab my luffa and body wash and start scrubbing clean. This actually hurts my skin a little, now that that the cold water has made it so inflexible.

With every movement the ice cold water hits another body part, and I feel the heat strip away from me. It’s funny how quickly one part of my body will get used to the feeling and another will forget. It seems like a never ending dance with the ice princess. Now and again, I have to let out a little whooh, and practically beat my chest to keep the motivation going. It’s primal, I know, but it really helps when you are freezing your ass off! The shower head is about a foot shorter than I am so I have to squat down and lean back to wash out my hair. It makes me laugh aloud at the awkwardness of my position, or it could be I’m being hysterical due the freezing cold water striking again my scalp and turning what’s left of my brain into an ice cube. Either way, it seems hilarious in my mind which only makes me feel a little insane.

I turn around and force my face into the stream of cold water. The feeling reinvigorate my entire body, and I start to wonder what a hot shower felt like. I remember warmth and relaxation but these only seem like words now. Why would I want to give up this feeling of being alive to something that relaxes and dulls my mind? Why wouldn’t someone want start the day feeling energize and powerful? Similar questions race inside my frozen head.  Buzz, buzz, buzz…! Wow has it been five minutes already? I turn the knob and step out of the shower. It still surprises my body when I feel warmer outside of the shower than inside.

I reach over and turn off the alarm. As I quickly dry off, one thought slowly creeps into my head, what the heck am I going to write about today?

The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. ~ Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings


Day 7 A Week of Cold Showers

The hardest part of this past week has not been waking up each morning to a cold shower but writing about my experience. Don’t misunderstand me, the cold showers are still uncomfortable, but if you ever try the challenge you will realize quickly that the discomfort is short lived. On the other hand, writing can make some people, me included, feel very uneasy. I have read many articles on the benefits of writing, how to write, why I should write, and many more, all telling me the same information. Still, I could never start because I thought nothing I wrote would be good enough. I had come to believe this after years of educators telling me so along with their common misplaced jokes of how horrible my writing was. This was clearly one limit that I believe in and it was holding me back in life!

As you may know, I promised as part of my challenge to blog every day to keep myself motivated. It seemed like a crazy idea at the time, but my life was transitioning into a new chapter, and I let the crazy idea sink in. When I wrote that first post, excitement pumping through me, I was not thinking about the difficultly. Subconsciously, I believed that no one would even read my posts so I had nothing to worry about. Sadly, on my first night, when the realization of my challenge hit me, I started thinking about quitting. I’m not proud of those thoughts but they happened. Eventually, I ended up on my computer deciding if I should delete my blog and forget the whole thing. Then surprise, someone decided to follow my blog. It was like someone decided to tagging along with my challenging and was saying I’d like to see you complete your challenge. I was being held accountable and it gave me the motivation I needed, so my thanks go out to projectlighttolife for giving me that first push.

Today, I jumped into the cold shower and the only thing I could think was that I had completed my first week. Not long ago, I thought of a cold shower as a horrific experience. One in which only a crazy person would attempt each day, because true insanity is not enjoying a hot relaxing shower. Yet in less than a week, I have changed my perspective and given into this supposed insanity. Again in my life, I find out that insanity is purely objective.

Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage. ~ Ray Bradbury

What cage has someone locked you in?

Day 6 Cold Shower plus Mini Challenge

Yesterday, I made my first attempt at a meatless Monday. I have wanted to go meatless for quite awhile, not for any particular reason, but just to see if I could do it. I usually feel super hungry and eventually give into my cravings. So I thought of it as a mini challenge, which in the future, I would like to increase to more than a day but everyone has to start out somewhere. My issue is that I constantly forget to not eat any meat.

Throughout my day, I had some peanut butter toast for breakfast, then some white rice with black beans for lunch, and a delicious vegan pizza for dinner, vegan because of my allergies. I was extremely excited that I had gone a day without meat for the first time but sadly one small detail dawned on me. After lunch, my brother was having some stir fry, which I had made the day before, and without even thinking about it I ate one strip of meat. A rather disappointing fact to remember at the end of the day, but my subconscious wanted kept me honest. I am definitely going to attempt it again next Monday and learn from this experience.

Today, I used the guest bathroom for a little change in scenery. I normally stay away from this particular shower because its height, which is about five feet tall, is about a foot lower than my head. Consequently, I either end up bowing to the shower gods or completing a home workout because I have to squat half the time. It definitely adds a level of discomfort to my overall experience. Then add some freezing cold water into the mix and the resulting shower experience is quite interesting. The shower was surprising colder today and I couldn’t completely get used to the feeling. I kept letting out small gasps as my body shivered uncontrollably. At the beginning of this challenge, I kept thinking that the cold showers would become easy, like a hot shower, and that I would ultimately have no issues with them in the future. However, I am reminded each day that the water will always be icy cold and therefore slightly uncomfortable.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. ~ Albert Einstein

Day 5 Freaking Cold Shower

From time to time, I like most have my ups and downs. Life progresses at a leisurely pace and then suddenly it gets unbearable with no moment to breathe. This common theme, share by most about life, can be applied to my challenge. Some days the water is quite enjoyable and a refreshing start to the day. While other days the water feels horrible, even insufferable, and the unpleasantness of the entire situation makes me never want to go through it again. However, the water never changed, it was always cold, but something else had to have. If you look around the world, it doesn’t change, it is just a relentless machine moving forward where the strongest survive. Similarly, the shower stays constant, its temperature does not falter, and it is how I perceived it that changed it in my mind. It is the stressors add by life which weigh us down, altering our view. Therefore, it is the individuals’ choice to choose how to view the events of life.

It’s been a few days since my flight and I am still adjusting to the new time zone. The cold showers really help wake me up in the morning. Today, I turned on the water and tested the temperature like normal. It almost felt warm, and I thought well this is going to be easy but then suddenly the temperature dropped. I mean the water felt freaking cold and I actually hesitated in getting in. The same old thoughts began running through my head telling me that this was a crazy idea. I froze for a second while a shiver ran down my back. One thing I have been learning is how to shut those thoughts off and just hop in. Understanding that the discomfort is short lived, like most parts of my life, and that I will eventually adjust to it.

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? ~ Hunter S. Thompson

Day 4 Cold Shower Challenge

Yesterday, I wrote about the nightmares of cold showers, and I was proud of the fact that I don’t see them that way. It felt like I was conquering a fear and pushing past my limits. However, as we head towards discomfort we find the fears that truly haunt us. When I woke up this morning, I was stress out and panicking over some detail in a post that I had submitted. I slowly realized that it had all been a dream and that none of it was real. In my dream, I was reviewing a post and found that I had written “it” rather than “its”. A small error yet I was thrown into turmoil over the mistake. I feared that I would be criticized, judged, and that everyone would see my mistake. When I became this challenge, I always knew it was double sided, fearing a cold shower and public writing. I knew that writing was a deep-seated fear for me. While I can stand the discomfort of an icy shower, I don’t have as much control over my fear of writing. It is not just a five minute ordeal or something I can just accomplish. It is a constant; it follows my thoughts through night and day.

Consequently, the cold shower was always masking my fear of writing, but deep down I wanted to face this fear. I wanted to start improving my writing and myself. So as I am continuously asked the same question, why, my answer is that your fears become layers like tinted glass in front of your eyes. As you slowly remove a layer of tint your vision becomes clearer and you see the fears that were being hidden. So by learning how to remove one layer, even as simple as a cold shower, you learn how to stand up and face your deeper fears.

Interesting enough I found a solution for a cold shower, sunburns. I would not suggest it, for health reasons, but it does increase your skin temperature. The trouble with sunburns is that the water doesn’t feel cold on the skin, but when it hits another part it can feel ten times colder. In the past, a warm shower would normally make me fall into a trance or daydream. I would practically fall asleep, standing up. This is the relaxing state everyone so abundantly enjoys. On the other hand, a cold shower keeps me focused and snaps me out of that dreamy state.

Resistance is fear. But resistance is too cunning to show itself naked in this form. Why? Because if Resistance lets us see clearly that our own fear is preventing us from doing our work, we may feel shame at this. And shame may drive us to act in the face of fear. ~ Steven Pressfield

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