The Cold Shower Dilemma

Scroll through social media and you will likely run into alpha dudes with their shirts off, bulging muscles, jumping out of a barrel of ice water, shouting at you to wake up at 4 AM every day and be manly enough to do the daily cold plunge.

Or maybe that’s just in my algorithm.

Yours may be filled with cats singing show tunes, or hot air balloon rides at dawn, or cats singing show tunes in hot air balloons at dusk…because who sings show tunes at dawn?

My Instagram feed feels like a commercial for testosterone-roided gorillas, daring me, a scared baby monkey with a bald bottom, to chuck the banana, eat raw liver, and be as brave as them.

Sorry Liver King! I ain’t no King, and I can’t eat Liver…but truth was finally revealed recently, so there’s that.

However, I’ll be very honest here – I drank the Kool-Aid.

A few years ago I subscribed to this manly podcast challenge to do something insane every week.

I lasted 2 months.

It was 2020.  By March I had had it.

My business was falling apart as events dropped right and left, and I didn’t have any way to keep up with the challenges bestowed upon me by the manly men I was trying to keep up with.

It was actually a relief to quit.

I worked on saving my business and family instead.

But there was one practice they had dared us to do, which began in the middle of winter, that I gave a good shot at, called The Cold Shower.

If you live in a tropical place, you’re in luck with this challenge, because your water is probably tepid at it’s coldest through the faucet.

But if you live in a place where the pipes usually freeze in January, then this challenge is truly a monster.

I actually did it.

For an entire month I braved that cold shower for up to 5 minutes long.  It was torture.

It was absolutely unnecessary and I mostly whimpered, cried, and shouted through it, to the confusion of my wife as to what, and why, I was attempting this silly thing.

Sometimes I even sang show tunes at full voice, which usually sounded like Pavarotti’s baritone in warm water, but now sounded like Alvin & The Chipmunks barely surviving the tundra’s cursed winter.

 

I am thrilled to think stock photos have come this far. Incredible. That guy is going to get electrocuted.  Hopefully it was worth the paycheck for this photo shoot.  And FYI: This isn’t me.

 

The Cold Shower was actually one of the best things I’ve ever tried.

I no longer do that cold shower thing every day to start my day because I’ve figured out a new plan:

Warm Shower!

Hot as Death Shower!

Melt my Skin off Shower!

Wonderful idea.  Wayyyyy better!  hahahaha

And then I broke my leg in July of this year.

That’s when I realized:

Some challenges are thrust upon us, and some we can force ourselves to face on purpose

I had to live with the leg injury and the rehabilitation, and am still working through it, but it was a challenge thrust upon me.

All I could control was my mindset and faithfulness to the protocol of healing.

And that’s when I remembered the Cold Shower.

A challenge I could force upon myself on purpose, that I was in control of.

It was summer, so perhaps I felt brave, and I was only able to crawl into the shower a few times per week as my Mom, or my wife, would tape garbage bags all over my body to not get my leg wet…

But I got in that nice warm shower and enjoyed it.  I was so thankful to feel a little clean for a moment.

And then I looked at that handle and began turning it to the COLD setting.

As the water went from hot, to warm, to suddenly ice cold, it poured over my head, and I imagined I was in a waterfall in Kauai, or some blue lagoon on a tropical island.

Hobbling on my broken leg, I felt as if I had won the lottery and a trip to paradise, an escape from my reality, a moment of pure happiness as I longed to swim again and be free in the water.

It was FREEZING and, in every way, wonderful!

There is science that proves how good cold water is for us, just ask Wim Hof, or my friends David & Carla Meine, founders of More Than Healthy, who make weekly health tip videos that have changed my life, including this article and video below:

 

But to be brave enough to turn that dial to COLD is where The Promise comes to play.

Every day since then I have enjoyed a nice minute or so of warmth…

And, what was once the Cold Shower Dilemma, has now become a Promise I enjoy so much, as I turn that dial to COLD and a few crazy things happen:

  • I feel I’ve conquered my fear
  • I feel exhilarated
  • I feel better about myself
  • I feel confidence
  • I feel energy

Want to know the craziest part?

When you end a warm shower you’re usually cold and need to dry off fast, even in a warm room.

But when you end a COLD shower you are immediately warm once it’s over!

Such a bizarre flip to the script.

And how can we flip the script of our lives?

Embrace the challenges thrust upon us, but equally, choose to force ourselves to conquer challenges we thrust upon ourselves.

On purpose!  Keep That Promise!

Living on Purpose, that is The Promise.

But I draw the line at eating the raw liver.

 

~ Jason Hewlett

Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker

  • Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Project Coach
  • World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
  • Author of “The Promise To The One”

jasonhewlett.com

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The Cold Shower Dilemma”

  1. I admit, I’ve been doing cold showers for about a year and you confirmed all the health benefits and mental benefits of the frigid daggers of ice that greet your body with all the love of a ravenous lion.

    … Still worth it!

    My routine involves a variation called hydrotherapy, which may be the best of both worlds.

    Warm shower to wash, then hot as I can stand it for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Then flip the dial to that cold Utah pipe-freezing liquid of death for the same 30 sec – 3 min time. Flip back to hot as you can stand it, without inflicting skin-melting temps.

    (HINT: After the intense heat, the cold becomes a relief)

    Repeat the cycle three times ending on cold.

    The heat opens the pours letting toxins out while the cold closes them again… All while the hot/cold battle for your life, and mental fortitude, improves circulation and leaves you feeling like a champ!

    Thanks as always, Jason, for pointing out new perspectives to our daily routines that can improve our attitudes and increase our commitment to The Promise.

    1. This is so cool of you to outline this process Kevin. Thank you for sharing and taking the time. I love what you’ve articulated and it makes perfect sense.

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