39 to 35: Turning Up the Volume

On the joyful horror of cold showers.

I took my third full-on cold shower of the week this morning. It’s maybe the single most revolutionary practice I’ve discovered since I started making my bed in the morning. Or washing my face at the end of the day. Ok, I admit, I have a litany of totally mundane activities that I’m super excited about these days. That’s ok.

The cold shower, though, is anything but mundane. It’s shocking, startling, nerve-wracking. I haven’t “got used to it”, either during a single session, or over the course of the week. It remains a constant, jarring experience.

It did get a little easier today, and I’ll tell you why. After I turned the shower on, I turned, looked in the mirror, and did a little flex and puff, like, yea, you got this. Then a little shoulder shimmy. Hips started moving to the music I had on. Before I know it, I’m outright dancing and laughing out loud in my bathroom at 8am as the sun pours in the window. As the song hits a crescendo, I literally jump through the door of the shower.

AHH! Still horrible. Not dancing anymore. Shivering, cold, panicing, why, why, why, egt out, egatogotugotetatogotutOUT.

Nope, you got this. Head first, get the head cold. Ok, next armpits. We seem to have some kind of thermostat in our armpits, once they cool off the cold feels more normal. I’ve always been this cold, right? Can I get out yet? No, need to head south next. This isn’t anything like jumping in a cold pool. Cold pool is easy. There’s only one moment of choice, then everything gets cold at once. I need to buy a home, so I can install a shower that is tall enough to cover my entire body in water at once. I don’t care about earthquake risk. Get me the hell out of here.

The lower back is always a particularly tough one. I think because I still forget about it, so it surprises me.

Ok, scrape that hair off your neck. Not going to do the head today. That’s two songs, surely that’s long enough.

Yea, that’s long enough.

OMG nothing has ever felt as good as these sweatpants. Sweatshirt. Bathrobe. Brush teeth. Wash face… partially to apply lotion, partially to experience warm water.

It’s 820 AM, I’m doing pushups in my room, considering my writing topic for the morning. I’ve never been more content.

There are so many lessons here. There’s choosing uncomfortable growth. There’s grounding and normalizing baseline experiences. Not to mention the demonstrated health and well being benefits. But my favorite lesson from my shower this morning is simply how much it turned up the volume on my day. And that sparkling minute before I jumped in the shower, where my body and spirit rallied joy and laughter to prepare me for the trials ahead.

Cold shower. Best awful experience I can’t recommend enough.