You know how when you are in a pub and someone suggests that you swap your nice warm showers each day for cold ones? No, never happened to you?
Well, it happened to me. I got talking to this guy, Sam (read his blog), who has gone nearly a year ONLY having cold showers. There were some ideas about the possible health benefits but what really convinced me was that it might be good training.
Next year I plan on carrying on with the Kayaking, I’d love to do some sea and wild swimming and, of course, the Tough Guy. What all these events have in common is that they all involve being immersed in very cold water. Surely you can get used to this?
Not one to pooh pooh something without trying it I immediately said that I would give it a go for a week. So how did it go?
Day 1 – Too scared to put the temperature control ALL the way down to ‘totally freezing’ (it is december!) I had it up a couple of notches at just ‘really really cold’. I put my hands in [bloody hell!], then my head [jesus christ!] then before I lost my bottle I jumped all the way in [jesus fucking bloody christ], breathing stopped, fighting for a breath, try not to panic, just stay under.
I finally managed to get my breathing under control and managed to get my hair and other bits washed. What was surprising is that I actually got used to it to a point where is felt ok. I stayed in for the agreed minimum 3 minutes but could have done longer. Getting out I felt really invigorated and raring to go. To be fair I feel pretty good after a hot shower too but this was much better.
Day 2 – Pretty similar to day 1 except that this time I knew what I was getting into. I at least knew that I could get the breathing under control and that it WAS a great feeling afterwards.
Day 3 – Only slightly apprehensive getting in today and I almost feel that I’m getting used to this.
Day 4 – Felt that I needed to take things down to the coldest setting. This might have been my downfall as it was properly dreadfully cold and I found this a real struggle. Might not have even managed the minimum 3 minutes.
Day 5 – Dreaded it today, took it back to the original ‘really really cold’ but started to wish it was a warm shower. Even the fabulous afterglow wasn’t enough to make me feel good about it this time. I may have cracked.
Day 6 – Warm ‘regular’ shower and back to normal.
Well, while I didn’t quite make it to a full week, I did give it a decent go. I can report that if you can stand the first 30 seconds of a cold shower, it does get easier and it does feel superb afterwards. That first gasping couple of seconds are the trick though!