30 Day Cold Shower Challenge: Day 1 - 7
As I stood in front of the streaming shower in my bathroom, ready to step in, there was only one thought swirling through my brain.
“What the hell have I gotten myself into?”
It was Day 1 of my 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge and I could feel the icy mist wafting onto my skin.
The night before I had been Internet surfing and came across a random blog post from a guy who had completed the same challenge, 30 days of only cold showers. I read about his experience and decided that I would start the very next day. It wasn’t the health benefits that intrigued me, it was the fact that I would be shocked out of my morning zombie routine, the one where I would always shower, dress, and eat breakfast with half of my brain stuck in the previous night’s dreams, and the other half playing out the day ahead of me like a bad movie trailer.
I wanted to begin each day by being present and focused.
So there I was, staring blankly at the frigid water for several minutes, too petrified to move. And no, my shower wasn’t on the “cool” setting; it was 100% cold.
After a couple of false starts, I finally told myself:
“It’s just f@*#ing water. Man up!”
And without testing the water, I plunged my entire body in.
Immediately I felt like I was being electrocuted by the icy current. My breathing rate soared and I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up my neighbors with the guttural sounds emanating from my lungs.
Think National Geographic gorilla mating call.
The 30 seconds or so that I did last in the water, if it was even that long, wasn’t so much of a shower, as it was me just bouncing up and down and slapping a handful of soap across my body. I was shivering and chattering uncontrollably by the time I wrapped myself in a towel.
But then something amazing happened, my skin began to tingle and when I entered my bedroom (room temperature) I felt like I was walking into a sauna.
IT. WAS. AWESOME.
I arrived at work more focused than I had ever been and the hash brownie warm and tingly feeling on my skin lasted FOR HOURS. Not even kidding.
The second day was just as invigorating.
That afternoon I did notice though my face was oily because there hadn’t been any hot water to wash away the skin’s natural oils, which happens when we take “normal” showers. But by Day 4 my skin and hair had balanced themselves and become MUCH MUCH softer than I ever remembered them being since puberty. It felt and looked great.
By day 6 it didn’t even feel like a challenge anymore. I no longer shivered and the cool water felt refreshing on my skin.
I’ve got this in the bag!
But then came Day 7…
For some unknown reason, the water in my apartment had gone from North Atlantic to Arctic. I cursed at the plumbing and felt defeated when I finally managed to shake myself into a towel, my teeth banging together like a jackhammer on pavement.
All of the blogs said this was supposed to get easier! WTF??
But I’ve decided that whatever the temperature is outside, inside, or in the plumbing system, I’m seeing this challenge all the way through at 100% cold. I can already tell that I feel more focused and awake when I get to work.
But more importantly, I’ve realized that each time I take a shower my mind doesn’t wander for even a fraction of a second. Instead of being caught up in the past or the future, I feel every drop on my skin and am completely in the moment.
I’ll keep you posted on how the rest of the challenge goes. Day 8 is tomorrow!