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Cold exposure – Part 2 of 4

How I started and why I continued

December 22nd 2018. That’s when I took my first cold bath – or maybe I’ve done it before that also, that I can’t remember. But for me this is this when I started to become a ”Cold bather”. Or maybe I’m not a ”Cold bather” but just a person who takes cold baths?

This is the second part of this series of articles about cold exposure.

  • The first part was about appreciating all the seasons for what they are
  • The second part (this one) is gonna be about how I started and even more important – why I continued
  • In the third part I’m gonna give some of my advice about how you can start if you want to
  • In the forth and final part I’m gonna look at what the science have to say about it

So why did I do it that first time?

Well, it is probably many reasons. First of all I had started to see more and more about it in social media with Wim Hof in the lead and also some of my friends. So I was interested but not yet committed. Then one day a friend on makes this post on Instagram that she will go for a bath this day and that time, so I think that this is as good of a time as any to try it. So I respond that I will meet her there. I show up only to see a message that she unfortunately couldn’t make it. Fuck. Do I go home?

No, I was already mentally prepared and all dressed up (or maybe down) for the situation and I can probably get a nice Instagram video out of it. So I do it and I liked it!

The adrenaline when you meet the cold, how the breathing at first goes into sort of a panic mode and then calms down, becomes more relaxed. The feeling when you get up, pumped up and at the same time so relaxed and present.

I took a few more dips that winter and the autumn to come I decided I will just keep taking a bath at least every week for a whole year from that point. The year have passed. Now I don’t need that challenge to motivate me, I do it anyway and now it is just for me.

”Isn’t it cold?” or ”Was it cold?”. That is probably the two most common questions I get from strangers walking by when I take my dips. No harm in that, I like when they are interested and enjoy to have a small conversation.

My standard response is usually something like ”Yes, that’s the point”. I wonder if the same people also go to a gym and asks ”Isn’t it heavy?”, or go to a track where people run and asks ”Isn’t it strenuous?”, or go to school and asks ”Isn’t it hard?”.

The answer is probably and should be yes, yes and yes. Because it’s the challenge that makes you stronger, smarter and develop you.

A lot of people (me included) are getting used to always be comfortable. But guess what, life isn’t always comfortable. Whether it’s something physically or mentally uncomfortable things will happen. So for me this is something that I do to consciously prepare myself for the uncomfortable. I also sleep outside at least once a month. Not because I expect to have the best sleep of my life, but to get closer to nature, get closer to myself and learn how to really appreciate and be thankful for things many of us take for granted.

As well as I like to share these experiences with others, in real life or via social media, it can also be time just for me. Time to disconnect from the rest of the world and connect with myself. Time to turn off the noise and turn on the silence. It’s a time to create memories.

Cold exposure makes me feel stronger. I feel calmer and don’t stress up over things as easily because I know I can handle uncomfortable situations. I don’t experience the cold in the same way. It’s a powerful feeling when the body is starting to heat up. After a cold bath I feel clean, like on the inside.

Some days I am really motivated, other days I’m not. Sometimes I go even if I don’t really feel like it and other times I don’t, because I know that I will be motivated another day and I know that I have so far never regretted a bath, but there are times I have regretted not taking a bath when I had the chance.

That’s how I started and that’s why I kept doing it.

Viktor

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