The Cold Shower Challenge - Cool, or Just Crazy?

'Sup dudes and dudettes,

Krista here, with my inaugural avo post!  Things are about to get TOASTY up in here.  You ready?  I was born ready.

Anyways, this post may be a little out of the ordinary.  It may not be what most people think qualifies as "doing cool shit."  Those people are dead wrong.  Because this is downright CHILLY, quite literally.

I've decided, as the crazy toasty gal I am, to start a 30-day COLD SHOWER CHALLENGE, starting TODAY.  Yep, just before the start of winter (nevermind that "winter" in California is a relative term).  You probably have a lot of questions right about now, such as: Why? How? And ...What?

I first heard about the Cold Shower Challenge (CSC) a while ago, and to be perfectly honest, my first reaction was a resounding NOPE.  100% no thank you.  What's the point?  Aren't you just doing the Ice Bucket Challenge every day? I'm from Southern California - any temperature below 70 degrees F is antarctic.

                                                                      "This is the North Pole."  "No it's not!  Where's the snow?"

                                                                      "This is the North Pole."  "No it's not!  Where's the snow?"

As it turns out, there are a ton of purported health benefits, and those who have participated in the CSC rave about increased mental clarity, energy, motivation, yada yada.   Hippie dippie BS or not, I'm willing to give it a try. 

Here's how I'm not only going to finish this challenge, but CRUSH it:

1) When I step into the icy water, pretend it's the ocean.

Have you ever jumped into the ocean shortly after dawn after a night of heavy imbibement, and emerged feeling like a brand-new person? No?  Just me and the Toasty gals?  Well, trust me on this one, though the going-in is painful, the result is awesome.  Maybe it's just the restorative power of the ocean, or maybe it's the cold - dunno.  Now that I'm essentially landlocked (meaning, not two seconds from the beach - sob), if I close my eyes and use a salt scrub, perhaps it will feel like I'm floating in the sea - one of my favorite things.  Who doesn't want a mini-escape every morning?

2) Approach it with the resilience of an Arctic nomad, or: Don't be a pussy.

There once was a time when central heat did not exist, and not everyone lived in places where snow is a novelty.  Humans not only had to live in extreme cold temperatures, but to survive.  I admit, I cling a little bit to comfort, in all elements of life.  I like to be cool when it's warm and warm when it's cool. I like stasis.  I like routine.  And there's nothing wrong with any of that except that,'s a little boring.  None of those things abide by the Toasty girls' slogan.  So why not shake things up, and give the system a little shock?

I was listening to the Tim Ferris Podcast and his interview with Tony Robbins, discussing morning routines.  Robbins swore by his daily routine of jumping into a cold body of water every morning as a way to shock and jumpstart his nervous system.  Robbins is the "world's most successful performance coach" and imitation is the easiest way to learn wisdom, so again, I ask - why not?  That is the question.

I'm sure the first few minutes will be unpleasant.  But quitting is lame.  Complaining is lame.  Failing is über lame.  Being a superhuman badass is awesome.  Have I made my point clear?

3) It's better than coffee (if that's even possible).

Stepping drowsily into an ice-cold shower each morning will be like getting a punch in the a good way.  You will feel ALIVE.  You will feel INVIGORATED.  You will feel like you just drank a pot of coffee, without the Starbucks price tag.  Save money, ride a cowb- I meannn, take a shower.

Lately I've felt a bit lethargic in the mornings.  I blame the time change, the weather, and general laziness.  It's time to pep the eff up.  And nothing says "Carpe Diem" quite like a sub-zero blast of liquid to the face, amirite?

4) Write about it.

I can't back down once I put this in writing, so really, failure is not an option.  I will be recapping my experiences here, for your enjoyment.  I have my deepest thoughts while in the shower, so imagine how insane my train of thought will be when I'm *this* close to freezing to death.  Literally.  No exaggeration.

5) Set manageable rules.

Every challenge needs boundaries, even stupid ones.  My rules are:

-Morning showers MUST be cold. 

-The first week, I can keep the hot/cold water ratio 25%/75%, and slowly graduate to 100% cold.  Baby steps.

-Should I be so inclined to take quick, relaxing showers pre-bed, they can be hot showers.  No need to give the ol' nervous system a jolt when it should be preparing for sleep.

-Baths may be hot.  Ice baths are not required.


                                                                                             Superhuman Status: Unlocked.

                                                                                             Superhuman Status: Unlocked.

Okay, I think I've droned on long enough about this insane and silly challenge.  What are your thoughts?  Is it stupid?  It is awesome? Is it super-dee-duper awesome?  Share in the comments! 

Mallorca: The Land of "A Good Place to Eat a Sandwich"

After quite a few excursiones on the island so far, I've begun to acquire a very important skill: How to find a good sandwich spot.

I mean, let's be real. You can't just eat your sandwich in any old place. You have to find the "it" spot--that vista that you will think back on in three years and think, Wow, that was such an amazing hike.

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