You can’t breathe in a cold shower.

Dan Gough
2 min readAug 24, 2015

I’d been meaning to try it for ages. Somehow, each time I stood naked in front of a shower pelting out freezing cold water, I instantly lost will power and turned the heat back on. “Tomorrow” I would tell myself, which was bullshit, now that I think about it.

So, a tomorrow rolled around and I knew I had to do it. I made a point of having the perfect morning so that if I even tried to say no to shower, I would feel guilty. I did some morning stretches, made myself a green tea and ate some eggs. Perfection.

Then it happened. I probably would have said “Fucking hell, this is awful.” But I couldn’t, because YOU CAN’T BREATHE IN A COLD SHOWER. It takes the breathe straight from you, and you’re left frozen, eyes and mouth wide open, gasping for some sort of air. I’m telling myelf “Keep going, it’s good for you!”, but I wonder whether it’s just a sick inside joke. It takes at least 10 seconds to take a breath. It feels amazing, but the race is on. How do I get out of this thing ASAP?

Grab shampoo. Squeeze. Lather. Cry. Grab luther. Grab shower gel. Lather. Breathe. WASH IT ALL OFF. Jump out.

I have never dried myself and got into a dressing gown so quickly in my life. It was like a giant, comforting hug that told me everything would be alright.

And it was. I felt awake, alert, alive. It was a strange sense of exhilaration, and I would have done it again straight after. It was 3 minutes of discomfort which earned me an awesome feeling of accomplishment.

I’m now 3 days into my love-hate cold shower routine, and it’s getting easier each time. It’s kind of like when you jump into a swimming pool, it sucks for 10 seconds but once you’re in, you’re in.

You should try taking the plunge, it’s totally worth it. Cold showers have a bunch of health benefits — but for me, it’s a way to start the day with a test of will power.



Dan Gough

Creative specialising in user-led design, apps and rapid prototyping.