One year ago tomorrow my husband came home after a Wim Hof workshop, elated. I was mystified. Tomas had been doing breath work for a while, and meditation. He signed up for a one day course, and I remember telling him, "Cool, for you - but I'll never do it."
When he returned, he was different. I met him at the front door and his energy was high, he was glowing with intense joy. He looked like a child as he explained his experience and I was in awe listening to him.
During his explanation, he used words like expansion, strength, adaption. He talked about the power the mind has over the body and that for him the immersion was a continuation of his meditation practice. He learnt to get himself to a place of calm. There was no doubt in his voice; this was a life changing event!
My response after he was done? "Teach me!" I couldn't really believe what I was saying as I said it. I mean I hate to freeze. Hate is a powerful word, and still, it is the right word. I feel angry when I get cold. Like, why must I endure this when we have enough money to heat our home? Or enough money to purchase the right outdoor clothing. Why must I go through this discomfort? This unnecessary hell...being cold is painful, and why should I bear it?
I can remember walking to school in the 5th grade. Frozen. Loathing my parents for their choice of winter boots. Why couldn't I have a protective bubble house around me? Or better yet, why couldn't we live someplace warm?
When I finally moved to Mexico on my own accord in my early twenties, I thought "Yes, this is it, I have made it. I will never freeze again!" But it was cold there at times too. I worked as a Base Leader in the dive industry and putting on the cold, damp wetsuit from the day before never felt welcome. Plus you acclimatise and in the Yucatan, it felt cold in the hurricane season. It rained, and it stormed, and the water in the shower never got above 10 degrees Celcius during those "winter" months. The big water supply for my shower needed direct sunshine to warm it, and with the cloud cover during the winter months, the tanks didn't heat nearly enough.
I despised those cold morning showers.
Fast forward to my first immersion. I walked down the stairs and as soon as my feet hit the water, I wanted to run. But I marched in. I marched, and I disassociated my self from my body until the water was at my belly. Then it was real again. I tried to ignore the cold. I marched further in, and when the water was at my breasts and then my chest and then my throat, I started to breathe hard. I was in shock! Tomas said 90 seconds was the minimum time but to try to stay for 3 minutes. I sucked in the air. I blew it out again forcefully. I was loud, wild and so alive. I can do 3 minutes I thought, and I did. Tomas was not in the water with me, he spotted me, and he wrapped me up in a towel when I walked up the ladder. I loved him so much at that moment. I was so thankful that he wrapped the towel around me, so grateful for his love and his support. Had I really suffered before?
Walking back up to the house I felt invigorated. I felt accomplished. I felt appreciative for all the creature comforts; for all the kindnesses. I began to wonder about all the health benefits. Could I get into this?
It has been a year since I started doing 3-minute cold water immersions 2-4 times a week.
These are my observation:
I sleep better.
I'm never sick.
I am calm. I am patient. I am more empathetic. I appreciate everything. I am more aware, more present. I am strong. Body, mind and spirit! Much of my struggle was in my mind. Fear can not hold me back.
There are many things I do to stay connected to my innate joyous potential. I live a plant-based lifestyle, I receive regular chiropractic care, I meditate, and I write. I create, and I connect. I love people, all people! I love on my family, friends, coworkers, and strangers. I support myself, challenge myself and share of myself as often as I can. Through cold water immersions, I have discovered that there are infinite possibilities. Living this way is not to be kept secret or to be made into an elitist sport. We can all tap into unexplored qualities within.
Access your highest potential and take the plunge!