Why We Need Cold Showers
In high school, I was on the basketball team. We actually won the state championship. But, I didn’t really play much.
But I loved being a part of the team. I was a super fan and I had front row tickets to every game. On the bench.
Every day after practice, I was the only one who showered in the locker rooms.
The reason why I liked showering in the locker rooms was because it saved time. Basically, I just needed to throw my dirty clothes back into my gym locker and then change back into my clean clothes I wore from school and then I could go straight home or go out with my friends.
The challenge: the water was freezing cold. It wasn’t lukewarm. It wasn’t room temperature cold. It was freezing. And that’s why I was the only one who showered in these locker rooms.
Sometimes after 2 hours of practice, I’d run around the track, so I could get super sweaty right before I jumped in the shower. If only I still had that much energy!
And at the time, I didn’t know why I was doing it. The water was unbearable. I would jump up and down and make weird noises to stay sane. And all my teammates could see me. I was just a young 17-year old who didn’t mind being watched by a bunch of dudes taking a shower.
I remember watching the movie “Holes”. It came out when I had just started reading the book. So I just saw the movie and never finished the book.
Anyways, I remember they lied to kids telling them something like, “oh you’re gonna dig these holes because it builds character”.
These cold showers were my holes. I remember people asking me why I did it and I’d tell them that these cold showers helped build my character.
Now that I look back at it, I’m not sure if it affected my character at all.
But one thing I know it did affect was my ability to face discomfort. I knew that once I stepped into that water, my whole body went into a stage of shock. I would jump up and down, sometimes make weird giggling noises. I would shower my body as fast as possible and then get the hell out.
Those two or three minutes were not the most fun part of my day.
But as soon as I got out of there and dried off, it felt amazing.
Now, I still take two cold showers a day. In fact, I have a water heater in my bathroom and I’ve never even turned it on.
What did that actually teach me?
The water in my shower hasn’t gotten any warmer and taking cold showers hasn’t gotten any easier. But what I have learned is how to deal with discomfort, adversity, and how to not give a shit about letting that get in my way.
Just like digging holes, taking cold showers is humbling. It reminds you that warm water is a luxury. It taught me to get used to discomforts, because when your life becomes too comfortable, you reach a point of no return. Mentally, it also helped me fight through any pain or hardship.
Life’s a marathon so I’m always training.
And above all, cold showers have helped me learn to embrace discomfort and to not let it get to me mentally, so I can get through anything and get it done.
The habits you build now are going to determine your future. How successful do you want to be? How much can you handle?
What are you doing every day that is going to help you achieve your goals no matter what discomfort, adversity, or troubles it brings?
What type of strength or character are you building that is going to make you even more devoid of failure in your life?
What’s your cold shower?