Welp, it's two weeks into the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge and I have yet to provide an update! I bet you are all dying of curiosity (how could you NOT be?!). I've been slacking on an update because REAL LIFE got in the way...time flies when you're doing cool shit ;)
Anyways, first I'll answer a couple of FAQs I've received from curious readers.
1) Are you still doing that shower thing?
Answer: Duh. Once I commit to a challenge, I don't wimp out! It's called a "challenge" because it's challenging - but once you finish it and make it your b*tch, it's quite rewarding.
2) How's it going?
Very well! It's actually, surprisingly, pretty awesome, and I'm starting to look forward to my morning jolts of icy cold.
Let me break down my experiences thus far*:
During: WHY. DEAR MOTHER OF GOD. COLD. JESUS H. CHRIST. SO COLD. (I turn off the water to shampoo and condition my hair. I stand, shivering. Is it too soon to give up? Must...go...on...) WHEN WILL THIS START TO FEEL GOOD?
Post-shower: A mix of incoherent cursing overshadowed by chattering teeth. I suppose I feel invigorated, but moreso, I am just cold. On another note, my shower was less than 8 minutes. I have long hair - this is a victory. For Mother Earth, not for me.
During: AGAIN. WHY. LORD. (I turn the heat up a smidge. It's still a touch cooler than lukewarm. Am I cheating? No one will know. Let it happen.) NOT ANY BETTER.
Post-shower: WOOOOOO. I AM SO COLD. But ALIVE. I am running through my apartment and getting ready faster than the Flash...could it be...because of my shower? Or maybe because I'm running late? Only time will tell.
During: Today, I am not dreading my shower. It's COLD! But it feels GOOD. I embrace the freezing shower stream. (The trick is to just dive right in - don't wet one body part at a time. Rip off the bandaid.) It's not so bad! (I shimmy around in the water. I look ridiculous. I feel awesome. I think the water is drugged.)
Post-shower: BOOM. My shower was less than 5 minutes. I feel fresh, clean, light. It's 8 AM on a Wednesday, and I am AWAKE. Rather than trudging around dazed, as I usually do each morning, I am ready to GO. I prep breakfast and lunch and get ready for work at lightning speed. My head is clear sans-caffeine. I still have no desire to do my hair. Baby steps.
*blah blah blah, let's skip ahead...*
During: Cold showers are the BEST after rough workouts. This is great. Cold showers are awesome. (Five minutes pass) Aaaaand I'm cold.
Post-showers: I worked out in the afternoon both days, so I got to test the effects of cold-showering at a different time of day, as well as in a different state. I was hot, sweaty, beat, and mentally READY for a cold shower. It was much later in the day, so I didn't need a wake-up call. In this case, the chill was more refreshing - as I emerged from the icy cold, I felt like a phoenix rising from the ashes (dramatic? wHaTeVeR). I was feeling like a woman who has her ish together. If I can handle Antarctic water temps, what CAN'T I handle? Bring it, world.
I still participated in the challenge! But, confession: I gave myself a few days off during Thanksgiving vacation. Please don't hate me. If it's any consolation, I didn't shower much...cute!
You have to go easy on yourself sometimes and give yourself a complete mental and physical break. I did just that - mostly. Even still, I wasn't a total slacker. For example, I jumped in the ocean after a run on Turkey Day, and it was FRIGID. I counted that towards the challenge. I also went surfing one morning, which toootally counts. Cool water bright and early in the AM? So what if I was wearing a wetsuit...my feet were exposed, and cold. Feet matter too.
I'm not perfect, but you better believe I hopped right back onto the cold-shower bandwagon this morning. And you know what? I looked forward to it. It was the first step to starting my week on the right foot.
*TL;DR VERSION: THIS CHALLENGE IS GREAT. I'm feeling tons of benefits, such as: increased energy and mental clarity in the mornings, and feel generally more refreshed and clean. My shower times are cut in half. My skin is less dry. I'm washing my hair less (this is more of a personal benefit...the general public has yet to reach a consensus).
I encourage everyone to try out the CSC at least 1-2x per week. It's tough to start, especially now that the mornings are cooler. But the benefits are awesome and noticeable. I love feeling like the Energizer bunny in the mornings. Push your personal boundaries and give it a shot - you won't regret it!
I'll provide more updates as the challenge continues and I continue to reap the benefits of my mornings torture sesh. Until then, chime in. Have you tried it out?? Did you love it or hate it? Honest thoughts welcome!