I finished the last cold shower in my 30-day Cold Shower Challenge on Tuesday of this last week.
I have to be honest, it was less thrilling then I expected it to be. It’s been a few days now, but I remember turning the nozzle of my shower to freezing, un-robing, and jumping right in. I remember the cold on my skin and the intake of breath as my body – now quickly – adjusted to the temperature. I used all of my old survival techniques: I danced, I sang, I pretended to be a ninja, but then I realized something. I didn’t actually need any of those techniques anymore. I was fine. The cold water didn’t bother me. I actually quite enjoyed it. I finished my last cold shower of the challenge, got dressed, went to work. It barely felt like I had accomplished anything significant, even though I knew that I had.
The truth is that I liked the feeling of cold on my skin. I liked the feeling of sticking my face underneath the water, and feeling my pores burst open. When I was in acting school, my coaches always got on my case about being too in my head, and being far too intellectual. They’re right. BUT when I’m underneath a relentless stream of freezing water, I can feel every inch of my body down to my pinky toe up to the centre of my scalp. Underneath that cold water, I became so attuned to what it felt like to be me. I became remarkably aware and present, and I felt excited, fierce and unstoppable – all at the same time. It was an incredible feeling. So much so, that on day 31 I couldn’t bring myself to turn the tap back up to hot – so I had another cold shower. I made the shower a gentler cold on the 32nd day, and a comfortable warm on the 33rd day. On the 34th day, I brought the shower back up to the hot that I was previously accustomed, but stepped out of the shower feeling like I was missing out on something. The cold showers had become an integral part of my routine, and I missed them.
Cold showers have really changed a lot for me.
Although, due to some health concerns, I did not meet my goal of running a 5k in under 20 minutes, I have enjoyed several other accomplishments including:
- Having some incredible success at my new job as editor/ basically head of the social media department.
- Being cast in an incredible play: Made of Stone. I will be telling you all about this in my next blog post, so stay tuned.
- Taking huge leaps in my level of confidence and belief in myself.
I’ve been so busy that I simply have not had time to doubt myself. Now that I have a moment to reflect, I’m sort of surprised at what I’ve been doing because my behaviour goes so against the paradigms that I’d constructed for myself as a child. I still remember my first post for this blog. I remember the words that I used to describe myself: shy, timid, fragile, victim, secondary. These words just don’t apply to me anymore.
As I sit at my computer and reflect on the amazing growth that’s been invited into my life this past year, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so thankful for all the support that I have been shown from out there in the blogosphere, from my family and friends, and especially from my boyfriend Greg.
Here’s the thing. Many of you have probably read about this challenge and thought that it was crazy. You’d be right. But sometimes we need something that is a little bit insane to scare us out of our patterns, and initiate the change that we need to make. Almost exactly 2 years ago, with barely enough money to last me 2 months, Greg and I jumped on a plane and flew across the country to Vancouver BC. No plan. Nothing. We jumped and although the first year was rocky, by our 2nd year we started to find our footing.
Only 2 years later, he has come out with an incredible music video that was featured on ReverbNation, and I am literally loving every second of my life as I balance two acting jobs and a writing job that I love. We jumped and we landed on our feet.
If you’re standing on the edge of that cliff, afraid and apprehensive, I challenge you to take a leap of faith in yourself. Trust that you have what it takes. Because you do.
Take a cold shower. It will change your life.
Don’t trust my advice?
A fellow blogger, Adonai, had a similar experience: Cold Water Showers for Depression