Tuesday, July 1, 2014

30 Days of Cold Showers Challenge: COMPLETED

I did it. 30 days of cold showers.

While this challenge started off scary, it ended feeling exhilarating.

While most people I talked with found it either crazy or interesting, many wanted to know how it was going.
Oddly, the last 15 - 20 days were actually rather easy.

I suppose it is this way with many challenges. Once we dig into the hardest part, the rest becomes easier as we acclimate to the change.

One question you may have: "Did you take a warm shower today?" Yes, I did. And I enjoyed it. But I took a quick shower - one thing that held over from the cold! So, I'll continue to save time. The next time I hear someone say "you took a long shower" that will be a sign that it is time for 30-days again.

If you haven't started it, I encourage you to take the Cold Shower Challenge. Write me and let me know how it goes! You'll find many benefits. I wrote about my journey here:

Day 26: Is This Therapy?
Day 22: No Steam
Day 20: Mental Matters
Day 9 of the Cold Shower Challenge: Breathing
Day 6: Discipline
Take the Cold Shower Challenge
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

30-Day Cold Shower Challenge: Is This Therapy?

After signing up for the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge, I read in a blog that some people actually use the Cold Showers as THERAPY. Is this possible?

Well, today, as I joked about taking a cold shower being "romantic" (yeah, I know, funny guy) I did stop and think about the impact of the showers in my life over the past 26 days. Yes, I'm on day 26.
According to Joel Runyan, who has taken the concept of Cold Showers to actually trademark the term "Cold Shower Therapy" has this to say about it:

"Sometimes you just have to dive in.
If you’re staring at a project, and are having trouble convincing yourself to start, finding the beginning point and work your way through it little by little, you might need to throw it out, start from scratch and dive in headfirst – planning be damned.
If you have been trying to lose weight with a workout here and a workout there, you need to go full throttle, lift heavy, sprint everywhere and clear out your entire kitchen of junk food.
If you’re working on your business and are getting overwhelmed by how to get started, you might need to stop trying to plan every detail of your 5 year plan and just dive in and focus every ounce of energy you have on making your first dollar.
Dive in.
Get after it."
Here is a guy who understands what these Cold Showers mean. For me, it was about two things: (1) proving I could do it to get that tenacity back for the new business project I was diving into, (2) better health/weight loss/increased testosterone. Has it worked? Yes. I'm actually not looking forward to July. Because I now ENJOY my cold showers. I turned fear into love. I turned foreboding into looking forward to it.

Cold Shower Therapy turns something that you know is going to suck and turns it into something you can claim victory over. If you haven't had a victory in a while - you're due, right? Take cold showers for 5 minutes a day for the next 30 days. And go DO SOMETHING. Yeah, I'm in the middle of doing that something in my life. And I was coming off a victory, but EXHAUSTED. I needed a system reboot. The cold showers did it for me. I have a feeling they'll do it for you.

Because you see, the cold showers are about mental benefits you never realize until you do it. Are their physical benefits, too? You bet there are. Cold water induces an increased metabolic rate. Exposing your body to cold temperature makes your body re-regulate and burn calories. Your body could build a layer of fat if you kept doing cold showers for a long time. So, my feeling is to do the 30-day, then go back to a regular shower for a while.

The mental victory in accomplishing this challenge is hard to describe. But you can say I definitely feel more "bad ass" by doing this. I'm ready to take on other challenges, too, because I KNOW I can do them.

Four days to go... I've got this!

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

30 Day Cold Shower Challenge: No STEAM

TRIVIA QUESTION: What's the difference between these two showers:

If you answered: Shower A is cold water shower and Shower B is hot water shower, you are correct!

It's the 22nd day of the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge and I want to share an interesting, yet obvious, health benefit from taking cold showers: NO STEAM. What happens with steam in a bathroom? First of all, it requires a fan, which uses electricity, causes noise. But have you noticed even with the fan turned on that a hot shower still leaves moisture on the ceiling, mirror, and other parts of the bathroom. What happens when this moisture gathers, day after day? MOLD. And how bad is mold?

Accrding to the CDC:
"Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children."


Needless to say, that's a good thing. Just one more benefit to taking a cold shower.
Today's cold shower was... COLD! I was taking a cold shower at my folk's house instead of my place, as I am looking after it. I guess their water is colder? It seemed cold. But, as usual, once I just took the plunge, I got through it with flying colors.

Now, as we know, a cold shower is not exactly soothing to your muscles. I miss that. But, my SKIN feels smoother.

Health benefit: Did you know that your body receives a stimulating effect from cold showers on the brain's "blue spot"? The Blue Spot is the main source of noradrenaline for our bodies. Noradrenaline is a chemical that might be useful to help alleviate depression.1

Apparently, the cold shower shock's the brain to also increase the blood level of beta-endorphin as well. 

I've personally noticed that my mood is INCREASED since taking cold showers. I just seem more confident and happy. And that, to me, is a great thing. 

Follow the other posts on the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge Here:

Day 20 of Cold Shower Challenge: Mental Matters
Taking the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge
Cold Shower Challenge Day 6 - Discipline
Cold Shower Challenge Day 9 - Breath Right

1Research at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University.
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Day 20 of the Cold Shower Challenge

The 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge UPDATE: Day 20

I have several things to share with you today regarding the Cold Shower Challenge. One of them is: the shower goes faster if you DON'T THINK ABOUT THE SHOWER. May seem simple, but when you put your thoughts on other things, you can forget where you are - even if it is uncomfortable. 

Another mind matter I've learned from the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge is to focus on the OPPOSITE of what's making you uncomfortable. I remember learning this trick when I read about how Tony Robbins coaches people to do the "Fire Walk" - where they literally walk across about 20 feet of hot coals. He tells them before they walk to be sure they say to themselves "COOL MOSS" as they walk across the coals. By thinking COOL MOSS they are not focused on hot coals burning their feet, and in the majority of cases do not get burned from the fire walk. 

I decided to adopt a similar philosophy with the cold showers, but instead of cool moss, I use SAHARA DESERT. If you think about the Sahara Desert, you're most certainly not thinking COLD WATER. And if you are, the COLD WATER IS WELCOME. Changes the state of mind from "damn, this is colllldddd!" to "SAHARA DESERT" ahhh.. what an oasis of delight! 

So, here's a tip on overcoming an uncomfortable challenge: 
Reverse the challenge in your mind.

Sahara Desert: definitely not an image of COLD!

When you reverse the challenge in your mind, you both create adverse conditions that overcome the original challenge, and create an optimum outcome from the unpleasant to turn it into the PLEASANT. Believe it or not, I've actually started to ENJOY my COLD SHOWERS.

Health Benefit: Reduce stress by regulating your autonomic nervous system - See more at: http://www.cold-showers.com/a-doctors-view-on-cold-showers/#sthash.K9OcW7nK.dpuf

Follow the other posts on the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge Here:
Taking the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge
Cold Shower Challenge Day 6 - Discipline
Cold Shower Challenge Day 9 - Breath Right

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Cold Shower Challenge: Day 9 Breathe Right

You might wonder... what do this:

and this...

have in common?

The answer: BREATHING

Without proper air intake, a human being will suffer. Without any air, you die. Oddly, many human beings develop poor breathing habits over the course of their lifetime. I, myself, have an issue with sleep apnea. However, I am also a SAX MAN. And, yes, playing the saxophone requires good breathing habits.

On day 9 of the Cold Shower Challenge (yes, I've been taking cold showers now for nine straight days), I realized that the cold shower is EASIER to get through if you BREATHE properly while going through it. You actually have to concentrate on breathing cycle to breathe better. By doing so, you distract your mind from the cold water, though, so it serves two benefits. It is easy to hyperventilate during the cold shower, and also easy to just hold your breath and shiver! However, the panic only makes the experience worse, so I find by breathing calmly and deeply I get through the shower smoothly.

Have you faced something uncomfortable lately - perhaps even DANGEROUS? Well, make sure you breathe calmly and deeply and discover your success!

While watching athletes perform at high levels, you will also note high levels of breathing control. With musicians, it is similar. For those who master public speaking, they, too, learn to breathe naturally.

I encourage you to undertake more conscious BREATHING this week and see how it impacts your own empowerment. 21 more days to go!
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Friday, June 6, 2014

Cold Shower Challenge: Day 6, Discipline

I am still doing the Cold Shower Challenge!

I'd hoped to update you daily, but I'm afraid it looks like it will be a few days at a time! Yep, I'm that busy!

So, how am I doing with the 30-day Cold Shower Challenge?
Not bad. Day 3 was awful! It was soooo colllld! But when I got out of the shower I pumped my fist in the air - YES! I've got this. Each day since has been a little easier. Today, I actually ENJOYED IT.

I didn't expect this, but I'm starting to LIKE cold showers. The reason: they're totally REFRESHING.
You feel so much more rejuvenated than after a hot shower... you have to experience it to understand it.

Also, I appreciate the time I'm saving. I no longer take 15 - 20 minute showers.
One other health benefit - shinier hair and smoother skin. Yes, it's true.

In ancient history, soldiers poured buckets of cold water on their heads either for spiritual practice or for training - to toughen them up. I'm toughening up, and feeling more spiritually empowered, so maybe it is working.

This morning, I thought for a brief moment "you know, I could CHEAT, and nobody would know!" Here's where DISCIPLINE kicked in: BUT I WOULD KNOW. And this practice, in the end, is about a journey to inner self bad-ass empowerment. I removed my hand from the hot water and resisted the challenge. Then, suddenly, I found my body acclimating to the colder water, and it felt fine. Perhaps that was the lesson for today. Do what you know you must, and past the fear and pain of it is the satisfaction that you are doing the right thing.
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Take the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge


I'm currently taking a 30-day COLD Shower Challenge.

A friend on Facebook, Allison, who always is a bit on verge between either "whoa, really?" and "INSPIRING" posted this event on Facebook, and said "hey, want the motivation, watch this video:"

Here's the Video from TEDx LUC Allison shared with me:

So, I watched the video. My girlfriend said, "I'll watch this, but I'm still taking a warm shower today." I laughed. Then I watched it. I've got a current project I just finished, and I've been a bit exhausted. But, I have another project in front of me, and I feel it is important to kick butt at it. You know the feeling?

I do NOT want to make excuses for not taking on the tough stuff. And, I can't fail. Therefore, I MUST get outside of my comfort zone and simply go for it. By facing being uncomfortable first thing in the day, and conquering it, I'll not only have better health (so the statistics seem to show, but, hey, I'm not a doctor) but I'll feel more BAD ASS.

How does that sound to you?

DAY ONE: I got in the shower. Turned the water to COLD. Yep - no HOT at all. Then I screamed like a little girl. I continued to shutter, make noises that an animal or person in a mental hospital might make (or so I imagined), or maybe they were similar to sounds I make in sex. God knows, I hope not. But, you know, this was not an ordinary shower. I proceeded to get busy and soap and lather. The hardest part: cold water on my HEAD. YIKES. But after the first minute, you kind of realize you can deal with it. Until you let the water pour over your WHOLE BODY. YIKES YIKES YIKES! But I did it. I completed my shower, turned off the water, with a sense of pride that I only needed to turn off the COLD knob. Then I towel dried, and stepped out - and let out a "whoo hoo!" Yep. One day done. Check.

Guess what? I'm on DAY TWO. I've decided to post a potential health benefit or psychological benefit every day of the 30 day challenge, here at AspireNow. The first benefit: MORE EFFICIENCY. When you take a 5 minute cold shower, you sure are more efficient with the soap and lather! Plus, no day-dreaming for 15 minutes under the hot stream. Showers are guaranteed to be on the shorter side of time. So, as a lesson for entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, anyone, actually, perhaps the lesson is to DO MORE WITH LESS.

There's something inspiring about that, isn't there?

Second, the health benefit for today: more TESTOSTERONE. I've recently felt sluggish, maybe testosterone will help. We'll find out!

Why not join me? 28 Days to go, baby!

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