On Cold Showers.
Cold showers are my new thing. The idea to try a cold shower came from a piece here on Medium entitled 8 Things Everybody Should Do Before 8am, which is either the best or most annoying article ever written depending on which Medium readers you’re listening to. Since reading this piece, I started incorporating cold showers into my routine every day, regardless of the fact that I couldn’t take one until recently without praying to a god I don’t believe in beforehand.
Regardless of how you feel about the idea of cold showers, it’s a peculiar experience that’s difficult to describe.
You know that moment where you get dumped? That slow, agonizing realization that your life is about to change completely? It’s a bit like that.
You know when you break a bone or cut yourself while you’re chopping vegetables and you feel the reality of your injury’s severity sinking in, slowly and reluctantly fighting the denial of brain’s rationality? It’s a bit like that too.
Or maybe you’ve had nothing bad happen to you at all, ever. In that case, take a cold shower just to understand what your body will do when it’s thrown over a metaphorical cliff and into shock. Before you even turn on the water, your brain will tell you all sorts of lies.
But then you decide you’re done waiting for tomorrow. You hate how later never comes. You’re no longer comfortable in your comfort zone. So you turn on the water, and everything gets a little blurry.
“Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck fuck shit shit fuck…”
And then all of a sudden the expletives stop and your eyes are on fire. You have no idea why, but you don’t have the space in your brain to analyze. You don’t remember what worries you carried into the shower with you, but you don’t have the space in your brain to over-analyze. You’re a laser beam of pure focus as your autonomic nervous system completely hijacks your body. You turn like a rotisserie chicken, exposing every part of your body to the cold while your brain tells you all sorts of unavoidable truths.
Your skin tightens and shock subsides, and you start to remember how to deal with a threat as you regain control of your limbs. Your hand reaches up quickly and hammers the tap with authority, ending the danger and removing yourself from harm.
Everything is quiet, and within 3 seconds your body begins to radiant heat through your frozen skin. Slowly at first, and then you swear you can see torrents of light breaking through the frost and pouring out of your body. Confirmation that not only are you alive, but you’re strong.
And then endorphins tell you to smile. You’re embarrassed at what a little challenge you conquered. A little insignificant hill that doesn’t fix any of the other problems you got.
And then your smile turns to a laugh. And you spend the next minute laughing.
Dexter McMillan is a special educator in West Vancouver. If you enjoyed this article, please hit the green heart at the bottom to recommend it :).