Okay—so maybe I’m not so good at sticking to my own challenges. There were a few days where I just totally skipped on the cold shower.

That being said, there is something I like about the frigid water after I’ve gone for a run. I think it helps cool me off. If you’ve ever seen me after running, my face is bright red and hot. It will stay that way and you can even sometimes see the red drain from my face over the next hour. The cold shower helps speed that process up.

Every day that I took a cold shower I liked the way it felt on my face. I recommend hitting your face with cold water near the end of your shower. I still don’t like the way it feels on the front of my body. It makes me think of everything I’ve learned about the body—how the front line is the protector—we have so many vital and really sensitive parts from the front that will curl into a ball (the fetal position to protect it). It is my body’s clear instinct to pull away from the water.
But when I let the water hit my back and the top of my head, it’s still shocking but it sort of feels good (on warmer days). When there is a chill in the air I can find nothing good to say about a cold shower.
So when I want to, I now turn the water to cold so that it can hit the top of my head and back only and take ten deep breaths. While I don’t want to do this every day, on the days when I do it feels really good. It’s about 30-seconds of meditation really. The deep breathing feels good. The cold water feels good. For a moment I feel really in tune to my body as I actually feel everything cool off. Surprisingly, while the water is shockingly cold the body takes it’s time cooling off and as each part cools my attention is drawn to it. I’d like to build up to more than 10-breaths. I’m shooting for somewhere between ten breaths and completely numb.
So was the challenge a success? Yes and no. I didn’t stick to it the way I was supposed to. I’m not up to 3-5 minutes on my whole body. But if I hadn’t tried it I wouldn’t have learned that there is an aspect of the cold shower that I quite like. I learned something about myself just by trying the challenge. So I’ll call this one a success. I’m interested to see if I stick to my 10-deep breaths and if I can get further with that.