Cold shower therapy: Day 10

July 24, 2012


Today is day 10. Ten days of cold showers and 18 more to go. It’s terrible and awesome.

Have you ever heard of this? I first read about it months ago in The Flinch – a scary-good FREE Kindle book by Julien Smith, about getting past that moment of hesitation that stops you from doing something you want to do but are afraid to. If we can recognize “the flinch,” we are more likely to be able to overcome it. The thought of stepping into a freezing cold shower gets you in touch with that flinchy feeling, without taking any actual risk.

Think about it: Turn on the water – all cold, no hot. Stand outside the shower and feel the sensation of anticipation. Get to know it. The “there’s no way I can do this” feeling. And then do it.

Smith advises doing it for a week. When I read it then, I thought it sounded silly. Like: okay, okay I can get the concept without actually having to do it. Really I was chicken. Bock bock.

A couple of weeks ago, I started following Joel Runyon on Twitter, seeing sprinkled tweets about Cold Shower Therapy. It triggered my memory of The Flinch and I was intrigued. So I searched Joel’s blog and found this post that explains the whole thing.  He calls it “therapy” because he’s talking about 28 days of cold showers.  Joel’s The Impossible Blog is about succeeding at doing all kinds of things we think are impossible.

I had just attended the World Domination Summit and was open to something that would really kick-start me into action on many fronts. I took my first cold shower the next day.

It seems crazy. I know. How can taking cold showers help you do anything? Here’s what’s happening for me.

The first shower was absolutely the best (and the worst). I was keyed up the entire day, constantly thinking, “Hey, I really did that this morning! I’m a badass. What else can I do?” An idea that I’d been hemming and hawing on for months suddenly crystallized and I started putting an action plan together.

The beginning is the worst part, the first two minutes. Then you start to adapt. And so it is with lots of things: starting is the hardest part. Then it gets easier.

I’m tougher than I think I am. It’s been hard every day. And every day I have fought through it and succeeded. I can do things that are hard. I can push myself to do something that, at first, seems completely undoable.

And so I will keep going for 18 more days and I’ll report my findings and experiences. And maybe even entice some of you to give it a try. I don’t recommend procrastinating ‘til winter.


Image: Steven Depolo

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2 Comments on “Cold shower therapy: Day 10”

  1. Stephanie Lisa Kelly Says:

    Just started it today. Horrific but awesome, and I had to keep laughing because part of me just thought it was hilarious that I was doing it. Will continue..look forward to hearing your thoughts at the end of the month!


  2. Rob Young (@therobyoung) Says:

    Love it! It makes perfect sense that if you achieve something that makes you feel bad ass at the beginning of the day, you’re psyched for the whole day. The awesome thing is it doesn’t have to be related to the rest of what you do for the day either.


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