Cold showers and surfing

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

Surfing in Nova Scotia in January is much more difficult than surfing here in October.

Currently the water is 17 degrees (mid to upper sixties for the backwards folks).

In January it dips down to 2 to 5 degrees (the thirties for you troglodytes stuck on the system that makes zero sense)

To prepare for this, I take cold showers year round.

I didn’t start with super cold showers.

At first I started with a warm shower and slowly lowered the water temperature for a longer time.

Now?

I can take a really long, really cold shower.

Now?

Getting into the North Atlantic in January is less of a strain.

Some who start on cold showers?

The just jump into the cold.

Their body reacts involuntarily to the new stimulus. They seize up.

Yesterday I wrote that ‘anxiety is excitement with no place to go.’

This was first written by Fritz Perls:

Anxiety is excitement without the breath

But how to find the breath? How do you give the anxiety a place to go?

The first step?

Awareness.

If you want to find a way to turn anxiety into excitement, you first need to notice when the sensations begin in your body.

And?

You need to be able to tolerate greater sensations.

The work is a lot like cold showering.

Small bites. Smallest viable bit of anxiousness.

What is it?

What’s going on?

What’s the sensation?

What do you want?

What are the barriers holding back the breath?

But underneath this, you need to be able to endure cold water.

And on some days?

All that I can handle is a nice, soothing, warm, comfortable shower.

But if that’s all I did, my surfing would suffer.

Surfer not sufferer.