I have a Savage Race Saturday. Twenty-five obstacles spread across five to seven miles.
One is the ice bath. Swimming through a pit of ice-filled water that you have to submerge yourself in halfway through.
That’s one of the only obstacles I dread.
Why? Because I haven’t been training myself with cold showers.
Today is Thursday. I was just in the shower, and decided, what the hell. Let’s see how bad it is. Vaccinate myself a bit before the actual race.
I’ve experimented with this brand of cold shower often: taking a nice, relaxing hot shower. And then flipping the switch for the last minute or two to freezing water. Kind of like a Russian bath.
I was basking in this torrent of beautifully hot water, rationalizing to myself when I should turn the faucet all the way freezing.
And I remembered something I’d learned in my heyday of cold shower taking; you are never going to be ready to turn that faucet all the way. Never ever.
Thinking holds you back.
So you throw the faucet without thinking about it. As soon as your brain catches up, pondering whether you should throw the faucet or not, it’s done.
Stop thinking, just do. Because you’re never going to be ready.
Another tip. Thinking the water is cold and insufferable is most of the pain. If you just flip the switch and don’t think, I am suffering right now, this is so cold, I hate this, I’m screaming inside, do you know what happens?
You feel cold water against your skin. It is colder than you normally experience.
And your mind is beautifully calm. Learning that step, that most of the suffering really exists in your mind.
That’s most of the fight.