Discomfort on the daily!
We love comfort. I spent the first 20 or so years of my life loving comfort. I spent a sorry amount of time living way within myself – way beneath my potential. Very few of us even reach our potential because we just don’t know how much we have. Humans thrive against challenges. Challenges spark evolution, evolution sparks life.
Challenge yourself on the daily, seek a little discomfort. It’s hard. It sucks. It’s scary. It’s daunting. But……it’s essential, essential to a life worth living.
You don’t have to walk barefoot on coal or skydive everyday to stretch your boundaries, you can do little things, things you don’t like doing – things that make you tougher long term. For some, exercise is an apt example. For others, it’s forcing themselves to stick to a diet, staying true to walking everyday…….maybe it’s trying to talk to women on the street each and everyday. It could be even simpler, it could be the easiest way I know of to get uncomfortable in your own home……..
Take a shower or bath in cold water!
This isn’t another ‘7 reasons to only shower cold’ or ‘join me on the 30 day cold shower challenge’ post. No. You know all about cold showers. You’re an avid health blog reader, right? You know cold showers’ value, and you know you should be taking them.
My love affair with cold showers began in May 2014. Incidentally, that’s the birth month of this very blog site! It was no coincidence really, I was developing a taste for everything self improvement. Although there are many worse obsessions in life.
In winter too?!
Yes indeed. Any fool can shower/bath cold in May, June, July, August, maybe even September. October, November, December and January? Different ball game. I stayed faithful to the coldest of showers from May to October 2014 and that was enough. I wimped out.
This year? Different story. I have been super strictly cold showering throughout the treacherous British winter months……..morning and night.
OK. So what?
I say this to illustrate the power of pushing the boundaries, doing what you haven’t before. This is evidence of my own evolution. And frankly, I’ve never felt better. My energy is great. My adaptation to training routines is faster than before and maintaining low levels of body fat despite eating a reasonably ‘high carb diet’ are strainless.
I do believe the testosterone boosting hype to be true to an extent – although it’s only one piece of a complex puzzle.
So that’s how I keep uncomfortable on a daily basis. It’s a habit I wouldn’t trade for the world. Cold or hot. Rain or shine. Win or lose.
Cold showers are ‘my thang’, man.
Have you had cold showers? What did you think? I’m expecting a fair amount of practical experience here! What about during the winter, could you do it?
JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.
No, a cold shower any time of the year might kill me. I’m completely exaggerating, of course. I WILL commit to calling and/or texting one person a day to reach out to my peeps. I’m real bad at that and it is uncomfortable for me.
You don’t know you’re living till you’re having that cold water sting your skin during December! 😉 Haha. Your quest is just as good though. So many people are terrible at that. Are you vowing to call/text different people each and everyday?
Yep, each day, a different person. I’ll make a list and go down and then keep repeating. Are you going to do polar bear swim? Eeks!
That’s a great idea/challenge. Out of interest, how are people responding? (generally). Haha…….a polar bear swim? Maybe that could be next year’s target? I sadistically love pushing myself to do weird things others say are “impossible” 🙂
Well, people are responding so that’s good. I know there’s a few that will be really happy and will also wonder what’s wrong with me, LOL! I’m not holding you to a polar bear swim since I wouldn’t do it myself 🙂
It will probably strengthen your connections with people, well it has to really! Some will probably ignore you, but that just lets you know to press the delete button…..haha.
Interesting you said that about some will probably ignore me because that’s probably the root of why I originally stopped reaching out to people. I got tired of making the effort and getting nothing back. I think it’s normal to feel that way, EXCEPT, I was taking a break from my brother for this reason and some other reasons and he passed away last week. So, I don’t know what to say except that I had bad timing and I really wish I hadn’t taken that “break”. Kinda messed up, but sometimes life is messed up….
Yeah, that’s very unfortunate. I guess we can only do our best in the current moment with the current circumstances and facts. If it’s not a two way street, I back away completely and wait to see if they initiate anything, if not, then that ‘friendship’ instantly becomes discarded. It sucks. But it needs to be done.
Not by choice. I really don’t mind a cold shower but just have to watch my blood pressure. It certainly makes me move faster.
When you have to shower cold, consider it a blessing! I love it. In all honesty though, I thought more people would say they can relate……but it seems I’m quite an extremist yet again!
No, I don’t think so. I can relate to it and I have been known to choose a cold shower, as long as it is followed by a very short and hot blast of water. I don’t cope well in super hot baths and am useless if I have to lounge around. I’m in and out of a shower in under a minute.
Hot anything just murders my vitality. Although I’ve never been one who feels the cold to be honest, on the flipside, I sure as hell feel the heat!
I’m with you on that one. I’m the person running in shorts in the snow. It’s awesome.
You hardcore thing you! Now if only you had the chance to do that this year……..yet another year without that magic white stuff; snow I mean!
You’re funny. This year, it will be too hot.
No white Christmas……..yet again :/
I went hiking and while everyone else was in coats and gloves, I was in short sleeves and a smile.
I’ll take a cool shower after a ride in the summer but that’s as far as I go.
Cool not ‘cold’? In the summer? Come on man! I’m just kidding of course 🙂 I’ve really nailed down the habit for life now, I think.
I can’t argue with the science, and as much as my inflammation numbers go through the roof after a good couple of hours on the bike, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for me…. but I’m a hot shower kinda guy. I’ll give it a try but I’m not promising anything.
I don’t partake in any serious endurance exercise, but I can imagine they’d be a god send after! I honestly thought I wasn’t such an anomaly, haha. But, as it turns out, I seem to be quite rare in that I love the cold water even at this time of year. Just gradually taper the temperature down as you go. Don’t go ‘full retard’ and try and last 10 minutes on the COLDEST setting (some people actually expect to manage that!)
Chuckle… I’ll kick it around.
Bill Gifford covered this topic in his book “Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying)” and even took a dive into the frigid Pacific Ocean in winter near Half Moon Bay (CA). He listed the pros and cons of such a procedure, and while taking a cold shower might not kill you, diving into freezing water could stop your heart.
I think I’ll restrict my discomfort to adding more weight on the barbell at the gym and driving in rush hour traffic.
I’m amazed you’ve not took his advice and placed yourself under some cool water James. That sounds like a great book, right up my street! Paul Chek’s ‘How to eat move and be healthy’ is another one that’s intriguing me massively. Discomfort comes in many dimensions, it’s all about embracing it instead of dodging it.