Cold Shower Challenge Day 13

Damnit. I didn’t touch wood the other day when I said rough nights were getting fewer and farther between.

Last night sucked. No other word for it. I couldn’t get comfortable. I went out and sat on the couch for a bit, then laid down and finally got some sleep… Until the 7 am alarm woke me. Why didn’t I turn that off?

Back to bed. Woke again at 9 am. Well, today is gonna suck. Might as well get on with it.

Milo. Shows. Check.

Shower time… awwww yeah… this will wake me up!

Music. Check. Timer set for ten minutes. Check.

Dive in. Oh damn, that’s cold! I’m awake!

Go through the routines, rocking out to Mile Cyrus – See you again.

Don’t judge me. Then Talking Heads – Psycho Killer. Weird combo. lol.

Shampoo. Conditioner. Damnit dickhead, you did it again. Stare at my left hand with the conditioner in it for a few seconds. AHA moment!

Shampoo in the right hand. Do the repeat deal with the right hand. And then condition! Nailed it!

Still cold as I wander, and I wonder as I wander. What the timer is up to. Standing in the cold water, skin turning a little blue.

HaHa.. I’m a smurf.

I start cleaning the suds off the glass shower screen…. wait…

wtf are you doing Papa Smurf??? GTFO!!

oh yeah. lol.

6 minutes. Doubled the time in the cold shower from when I started. Think I might be getting used to this.

Cold Shower Challenge Day 12

Up at 7 am today.

Why?

I don’t know. I’ve been asking myself for the last 3 hours. lol. Not really, but it was weird. We just bounced awake. Then we bounced on the bed.

And by “we” I mean Keegan.

And by “bed” I mean the bed and me. I’m like his springboard. And his jungle gym. His Mount Kosciuszkio. His tree. His rock. His everything.

So after he used my nuts to jump off me with one misplaced foot. I was more than up and awake.

Pain can have that effect. You ever been sleepy while in pain? Without medication to knock you out or dull the pain? No. I used to work a lot of long hours, night shift, split shift, weird-ass shifts. When I got sleepy driving home, usually after 12 hour nights or nights/days, all the usual tricks weren’t working anymore. Radio up loud, windows down, slapping myself across the face. One day, I thought, what if I gave myself a camel bite. Don’t hold back. Just … BAM..

My eyes watered. My inner thigh was screaming at me. I was awake. More effective than any other technique I ever used.

Anyway, I set up my little man and then set myself up.

I didn’t feel cold today, as I was wandering around the house. Even in the ensuite, I wasn’t feeling cold, despite the window still being open.

So would the cold shower feel colder today, based on my theory from yesterday…

I do not like being right all the time.. and I’m not, not all the time. But in this particular moment, on this particular day.

Yes. Yes, I was. It was fucking cold and it was still fucking cold 3 minutes in. I persisted of course.

The timer went off at 5 min mark. I need to find out if I can stop it turning my music off. Maybe I should just set it for ten minutes now?

Over 6 minutes today, so happy with that effort considering my brain was screaming at me…

ARE YOU CRAZY??!! WE WERE RIGHT! IT IS COLDER WHEN YOU ARE WARM FIRST! GET OUT! YOU WERE WARM! Why are you doing this to us?

Shut up brain or I’ll go back to killing you with beer.

Mmmmm….. beer.

Cold Shower Challenge Day 11

Today I had an appointment for 9 am. It was a fasting blood test appointment. So I set the alarm early because let’s get this done so I can eat damnit.

Keegan and I both wake up. Cloud cover is gone, bright Australian morning sunlight had flooded the room.

Time for a tickle fight. I win. lol.

I check the time as the alarm hasn’t gone off yet. 6 am.

6 AM!!

Oh well, suns out, guns out.

Now here’s some background info. I have Google home assistant and as I’ve said, I call it bitch, but that’s just in the app. Google Assistant won’t respond to that. It’s either Hey Google or Okay Google.

Until a little while ago I discovered it’ll respond to Hey Doodle or Okay Doodle. So now I have…

Doodle Home Assistant

Anyway, here we are this morning. Suns out, Guns out.

Hey Doodle, what’s the temperature?

It’s currently 12 degrees.. okay, let me just put these guns away.

Morning Milo for my little man while he watches his shows. I dive in.

I noticed the other day that I still have my bathroom window wide open. I particularly noticed it this chilly morning. I should shut it one of these days. I have a theory. If I’m cold before getting in the shower, it won’t feel as cold.

Today I actually checked the shower gell and yep. Lather up, take a wander. Says it right there on the bottle.

The timer alarm went off this morning. I finally get out a minute later because the alarm just keeps on going, and going. It also stops my music.

Shaking my booty to the alarm just…. isn’t the same.

Cold Shower Challenge Day 10

I had a bit of a rough night last night. Now that I think about it, these are getting fewer and farther between. So that’s a good thing.

Anyway, my point is. We slept in. We woke up at 10am and it’s been a while since we’ve done that, I still ask why we can’t do it on a Saturday or Sunday?

As a result, straight into Milo and then breakfast. I don’t like breakfast for Keegan to be too late in the day, and as I’ve always been a breakfast guy, he’s not missing breakfast and neither am I.

Then I dive into the shower, music is cranked, the timer is on. Good to go. I wonder as I start my routine if my shower gel also tells me to wander for a bit? Or course I didn’t check it.

Shampoo… wander for a bit.

Conditioner in the palm…

Oh shit… the wrong one. I’m supposed to repeat. I’m supposed to do shampoo again, before conditioner. What do I do? I’m standing there, staring at my palm, with a blob of conditioner on it.

Frozen.

Literally.

Oh wow, my palm is like, blue. I must be cold, doesn’t feel THAT cold. Not anymore. So I dump the conditioner and repeat with the shampoo. THEN the conditioner.

As I’m wandering… on the spot… for a minute or two. My timer went off. By the time I get out and turn it off.

5 min and 30 seconds.

BOOM. Mic Drop.

Electrocution.

Kidding… a quick way to warm up though. lol.

Cold Shower Challenge Day 8

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So here we are, Day 8. I was feeling like I should be noticing some benefits now. Besides the extra focus and energy afterwards.

Then I realised I hadn’t discussed the apparent healing benefits I’ve noticed. A year ago I developed a persistent ulcer on my lower leg. Where bone had broken through when I’d had my accident. The skin and surrounding area had never been the same since. Coupled with reduced blood flow to my legs also as a result of the accident.

The infection in the ulcer kept coming and going for 12 months. Even after 2 courses of high dosage antibiotics. Then recently it was discovered I had a staph infection in my lower leg at the ulcer site. Now if you’ve read about my accident -> https://jamesdarmstrong.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/the-day-i-died/ you’ll know that getting a staph infection anywhere in my leg, left leg specifically, is pretty dangerous. As in losing the leg dangerous.

Back on strong antibiotics again, as much as I hate them, I like my leg where it is a lot more.

Anyway, ran out of antibiotics and it looks like the infection has gone, but the ulcer still hasn’t healed. I ran out of them the day I started the cold showers too, funny enough. And it is now looking better than it has in 12 months. The damaged skin around it, from the bone tearing through muscle and skin, damaged, even looks better. Not as dry, and just looking firmer and healthier.

One of the pros of cold showers that I discussed in my first blog entry, is increased blood flow, and the state my legs are in as a result of the accident. I’ll try anything that will help with increased blood flow.

So I’ll be interested to see how it’s looking in another week. I’m taking progressive photos.

Today I hit 4 min and 30 seconds. And that was after face scrub, wash, shampoo and condition. Stand around for a bit. Then it hit me, how to stretch it out to 5 minutes. Shampoo. Rinse and REPEAT. Supposed to repeat right?

Knowing my luck, my shampoo will say.

NO REPEAT FOR YOU!!!

Cold Shower Challenge Day 7

Day 7

Day 7 and I’m starting to enjoy the cold shower.

No, I’m being serious.

My mate, Julian messaged me before I dove in to ask me how I was going with the cold showers.

Going Good, and if you followed my blog you’d know! HMPH!!

He’s following me now. lol.

4 minutes today. Easily. The music wasn’t loud enough for me to shake my booty. Mental note. Turn it up.

But, I had a question for my girlfriend, Emma, afterwards. She’s real. Honest. How the hell do people take 5-minute showers? Or longer? I’m washing my face with my face wash, which I usually do at the basin. I’m washing my sexy body. hahahahahaha. Oh boy, I crack me up….. sorry.

I’m washing my hair, with shampoo and conditioner. Rinsing off. I get out…..

4 minutes and 10 seconds

Are you serious???!!!

Her response was, how the hell do you shower so quickly? Apparently, 10 to 15 minutes is the norm for her.

It made me think, and take away the cold aspect, I’ve always showered quickly. This goes back to my days in the Australian Navy, specifically the 2 years at sea. You had to be quick and efficient. 90-second showers. That was how long you had. That was the rule because fresh water at sea is a finite resource. The ship can only produce X amount of freshwater per day. 140 odd people use a lot of freshwater.

Then I thought further back. Even on base, you are sharing shower facilities with others, and everyone goes to shower around the same time. Except for the crazy people that would get up at 5 am so they could shower in a more relaxed environment.

Then thinking further back. I came from a large family. 6 kids and 2 adults. 1 hot water system. So if you were longer than 5 minutes, Dad would be knocking on the door…

“Don’t use all the hot water! There are other people in this family you know!”

During today’s routine, I was also reminded by my brain of the old joke.

Shampoo? Sham means fake. Why would I want the fake stuff? I want the real poo.

Cold Shower Challenge Day 6

Today was a bigger struggle. Not because I didn’t want to do the shower. I felt drained. Yesterday had been a big day for me.

I had 3 appointments booked and usually, Keegan was at daycare on Fridays. But due to an outbreak of gastro, they had closed the centre. So Keegan had to come with me. This is no major issue, it just makes things a little more difficult. The last appointment was with my psychologist, which always has me feeling a bit drained afterwards, and the following day as well. Talking about my shit always leaves me flat. So I don’t like to talk about it. Lol. I know the way to face trauma, is to talk about it, for most people. I’m not most people.

So I wanted to sleep in.

I wanted to stay in bed.

Ignore the world for a day. Is that too much to ask? Not for a Saturday right?

Apparently, it is. Can’t do that with a toddler. So I dragged my low energy fat ass out of bed. My legs did not like that. Not one bit. I told my personal trainer yesterday, that I hated her. Of course, I had told her beforehand that my goal was to hate her at the end of each session. Then I know it has been an effective session. My legs were agreeing with that sentiment today. Mainly the calf muscles at the moment.

It was 9 am so I got Keegans shows and morning Milo sorted. Then I sat down next to him, zoning out. I was feeling very discombobulated. Shit, it’s nearly 10 am. Okay, breakfast first then.

10:30 am I get into the bathroom. Music on and I dive in. Damn it’s cold. Very fucking cold. Where the hell does this water come from??

The first song finished and that’s when I realise I hadn’t started the timer on my phone. Like I said, very discombobulated. Fortunately, I knew that Creep by Radiohead was 4 min. I get out after the second song had started and it was 1 min into it. I’m taking off 1 minute from the time, 30 seconds at the start, 30 seconds at the end because it does take time to get in and out, I don’t start or stop the timer while I’m in the shower. (hehe, I said in and out.)

Okay, it doesn’t take 30 seconds to hit the timer and jump in. But maybe that will remind me to start the damn timer next time.

Dumbass.

I even forgot to check the temperature. It was 28 degrees at 11:30 am, so it wasn’t going to be cold at 10:30 am.

Here’s to a better start to the day tomorrow. On the plus side, I felt better after the shower. More alert. Less discombobulated.

Yesterday my friend and fellow Writer, David (https://substack.com/profile/16859912-david-j-meyer) told me that I had inspired him to start the Cold Shower Challenge. Keep me informed on how you go buddy.

Cold Shower Challenge

Let’s just start with….

4 AM

He woke me at 4 am. I gave up trying to get him back to sleep at 5 am. Gave up on going back to sleep myself at 6 am. So I was very grumpy at this stage.

So….. Milo? Check. TV Show? Check. Temperature check? Check. I mean 14 degrees.

Why do I check the temperature? I hear you ask. Or maybe that was just the voices… anywho… I’m THAT guy. Going to the beach tomorrow, I watch shark attack movies like Jaws, Deep Blue. Going on a long flight? Final Destination. Got surgery coming up? I’ll watch how-to YouTube videos. I think you get the picture..

Today it was at 14 degrees at 6:15 am. I dove in and managed a 2-minute shower. I’ve read somewhere that music helps, so I might give that a go. Although music also attracts a 4-year-old.

I have been feeling a little more motivated. I think that’s more from the last couple of weeks of working out and other steps I’ve taken to help my mental health, than from the cold showers. I’m also feeling sleepy. I think that’s more the 4 am wake ups than cold showers not working. Pretty sure if it wasn’t for the shower this morning I’d be back in bed.

Here’s to tomorrows insanity. I mean experiment.

Never miss a Rambling….

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Cold Shower Routine Day2

Well, first off I got to sleep all the way through last night. So that’s a win as it seems to be a rare event for parents. I woke around 6am, however, I’m not quite at the point of getting up that early to take advantage of Keegan still being asleep.

So we both woke up at 8am. Played the thirsty mozzie tickle game for about half an hour. Then we played the “Daddy going to get up, quick cuddle him and then push with my little legs as hard as I can so as to push daddy back onto the bed” game. I need a shorter title for that game. It’s a variation of his “attack hugs” game.

9am and I finally got his TV show going, The ABC one… again. Seriously, I catch myself singing it at random points during the day. Okay, he has Milo in hand, singing ABC. I’m off, it’s cold shower time… oooh, something shiny. Now it’s 9:15 and he’s come to find me. oh crap… focus.

So I set him up with some other nursery singalongs that he likes and I dive in the cold shower. It’s 15 degrees, apparently. Today I lasted what felt like a lot longer. 1 min 15 sec. A whole ten seconds longer. The theory of relativity comes to mind.

Nothing else to report, except I can confirm two things. One, it certainly helps you wake up a bit. Two, it’s fucking cold. At this rate, I might get to 5 min in a month! lol

Cold Shower Challenge

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So last week, during a couple of days of unusually high temperatures for the middle of Spring, I decided I would take the cold shower challenge. This isn’t an official challenge as such. Just a personal one. There are different challenges, varying in the number of days in length and time spent in the shower. First, I wanted to look up what some of the pros and cons were of taking on this challenge and I would address these each day in my blog, along with my personal challenges and success or failure.

Pros

Cold showers help bolster alertness in the morning.

Cold showers help refine skin and hair.

Cold showers help improve immunity and blood circulation.

Cold showers help bolster weight loss.

Cold showers help speed up muscle soreness recovery.

Cons

It’s fucking cold. Some people find the idea too much and go from warm to cold gradually.

Cold showers aren’t ideal for those with illnesses.

Cold showers may not have a long term effect on weight loss.

DAY 1 – Nov 2, 2020

So the first morning started with the struggle of parenthood, at 1 am, with my 4-year-old, Keegan, deciding it was playtime and turning the bedroom light on. The next few hours were spent with me growling, “Lay down and go to sleep.”

The other struggle of parenthood. Keegan loves water, and he doesn’t care when the water goes cold. He’ll just avoid the stream of water and play in the water at the other end of the shower. This is in the shared bathroom; it is a large shower. The cold shower challenge is taking place in my ensuite, which is a smaller shower, and perfect for this purpose. So we woke up at 8 am. I got him set up in the lounge room with his morning Milo and his favourite ABC song video on YouTube and then quickly and quietly I was off to attempt the 5 min cold shower.

I’d decided I was going to do this when it had hit 31 and then 36 degrees Celsius when it was hot and I was brave. Then it was 25 degrees. Then the Sunday before I was to start, it hit a high of 18 degrees and raining. Really?

REALLY!!??

So I dove in at 9 am on Monday the 2nd of November. It was 17 degrees.

What did I feel? Cold. Very fucking cold.

I certainly felt more awake. I lasted 1 minute and 15 seconds according to my phone. It was a bit over that, I’m allowing for the hitting start/stop button.

Here’s to tomorrow’s insanity.