Cold Showers: Why DO I Take Them?

Today was Cold Shower, Day 52, and the water temp is down to an even 48F/9C.
At a neighborhood party last Friday, a few neighbors wanted an explanation of my practice, and I tried to give them one. A few were polite and made comments of semi-understanding, but one guy was blunt and said, “No offense, Trev, but that is just stupid.” We all laughed. I wasn’t offended at all. I realize that my cold shower habit is “non-standard”. That’s okay, I can live with that.
But do you know what else is “non-standard”?
Losing 87 pounds and keeping it off for 22+ months in definitely “non-standard.” Statistics (I don’t have the reference in front of me) show that only 5% of people who achieve a weight loss goal maintain their goal weight for more than 12 months. That means those people are truly “non-standard.” Losing weight and then maintaining that loss requires a different mentality. It requires a different type of focus. It needs drive, determination, and the internal motivation to defer short-term immediate pleasure for long term success.
Am I saying that you can’t lose weight and maintain if you don’t take cold showers? Hell no! (THAT would be a stupid statement!) But I am saying that continued success needs a constant and definite focus, and for everyone that will take different forms. One of the LoseIt moderators, Eve, is a marathon runner (she ran in the most recent Boston Marathon.) The ability to run 26.2 miles also requires drive, determination, the willingness to accept discomfort, and internal motivation. (She has also been maintaining a successful weight loss for 11 years.) Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida in 2013. Philippe Croizon swam the English Channel in 2012 as a quadruple amputee. Erik Weihenmayer climbed Mt Everest in 2001. He is blind. Those people and many more, live the “non-standard” life. All chose a task that was truly challenging and something that most people would probably not encourage anyone else to do, let alone try themselves.
I am not comparing my success to climbing Mt Everest, nor saying cold showers are the same as the English Channel. But I am saying that to achieve goals, sometimes one must be willing to accept discomfort, difficulty and the willingness to stand up and say “I am non-standard, because I will accept nothing less than success!” My cold showers, in a small way, are my daily reminder that a little discomfort is a fair price to enjoy for ongoing success.

So, find your own personal “non-standard.” Everyone can succeed. We can change that statistic to a number more than 5%. But you need to go outside the norms to achieve a goal that it not the within the norm. Embrace it. Color outside the lines—in fact, to hell with lines, draw your own picture! Use it to fuel your motivation, to keep your eyes on the goal and to never, ever quit!

What is YOUR “non-standard”? How is it helping you reach your goals? Please share your thoughts here so that others may learn from you.

Posted in Challenge, Cold Shower, Motivation, Success
4 comments on “Cold Showers: Why DO I Take Them?
  1. Cinderita says:

    Trevor! So great. Thank you for sharing this. My mum told me yesterday that the reason I still have a cold (3 weeks later) is because I am taking cold showers. She thinks it’s just plain stupid…and has since the beginning. She said “no one is going to give you a medal if you keep taking them thru the winter”. That’s true. Unless Joel wants to pony up and literally give me a medal, but I don’t need one. Yes. I’m so done with this cough. I actually told it to eff off this morning. But I’m also done with a lot of things. I like how you asked the non-standard question. What is my non-standard? I thought I had found my non-standard and was working my way to it. Having lost -70lbs over the past 2 years…and doing a great job at keeping it off, and doing awesome…and then a whole lot of sh*t happened this year, and I stopped taking good care of myself. I started eating wheat again. I eat chocolate almost every day now. the only thing I haven’t put back in is grains and alcohol, but i’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Today, I’m frustrated, disappointed in myself and a little mad at the world for making me lose my momentum. For pissing me off. For not going my way. And all that.

    BUt since you asked the question, I feel like I owe it to myself to come up with an answer.

    I’ll get back to you.
    Thanks!
    Rita

    • Rita, thanks for such a thoughtful reply. Take every day as a new day, and another chance to redefine yourself.

      It okay to feel disappointed and angry at yourself, for a little while….so NOW you are done! You can’t go back and change what you did. You can only change what you are going to do!

      Stay powerful and focused!

  2. Bria Pittman says:

    I love the cold shower idea 🙂 And yes majority of people will think it is stupid, but who wants to follow the masses anyway 😉

    • Thanks for the response, Bria! Following the masses is important it escaping a fire. Otherwise…not so much! (Sometimes being a square peg in a round hole world is fun.)