Delimit My Life

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

Archive for the tag “Cold shower”

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

Day 10 A New Cold Shower

Today was my first day in my new place which meant trying out the new shower. First, let me say, that all of the showers that I have used have one knob that turns in one direction towards heat. So somehow, irrational as it may seem, I always felt like I had no choice in the matter when turning on the shower and keeping it at cold. I wasn’t really choosing cold rather I am just stuck with less heat. However, today I found myself in front of a choice! I either move the knob to the left for heat or the right for cold. What shower actually gives you the option for making the shower colder? Anyways, I know my challenge so I had to move that freaking knob all the way to the right to no man’s land. Yes, I had to choose to make my shower as cold as possible. There was no hint or whisper of heat and I fully felt and appreciated the choice of choosing cold! And it was cold, I mean bone freezing, because I didn’t stop shaking until I was out of the shower. I can only compare it to my previous 4am shower which I remember as being icy cold.

My friend heard me since I probably let out a slight yelp but it was more me laughing at the height of the shower. Again, I am stuck with a shower head that is about a foot shorter than me. I told my friend about my challenge beforehand so it didn’t really surprise him. Also his reaction to my challenge was a little stronger than most since he said “I think people who take cold showers are stupid” (clean version). Not everyone understands my challenge which I think is a good thing. He had a good laugh at me and couldn’t understand why I was doing it. I of course went through the basics but what really caught my attention was that he said he would turn the shower cold at the end. I have been hearing this from numerous people, but I wonder how many of them actually do it. Its easy to say one thing but do another. They also seem to think that turning it cold after being hot is about the same as my challenge. This has made me come to realize that people won’t always understand my actions because they are looking through a narrow perspective. People love their hot showers, even adore them! To the extreme, that people can have bad days just because they were forced to take a cold shower by some unseen circumstance. I know it’s hard to take a cold shower but it shouldn’t ruin a person’s entire day.

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often. ~ Mark Twain

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

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