This man has been circulating on many peoples’ radar of late.
Wim Hof is his name.
Chilling in sub-zero temperatures is his game.
They call him the Ice Man, and he’s basically trying to get everyone to follow his sub-zero lead and alter their early morning shower and bath rituals in keeping with his philosophy; that prolonged exposure to very cold temperatures has a vast wealth of health benefits. Asides from shrivelling your nuts to pre-pubescent levels and halving your heating bill, apparently it’s supposed to make you feel great, something to do with oxygen to all parts of your body and dopamine and stuff.
Plus you get to look like a gee.
I then watched a most interesting video, about the merits of cold showers, and the importance of sleep.
At first I wondered if this stuff only applied to people with one syllable first names and surnames. Fuck it I thought, only one way to find out.
So I took the plunge.
That was one week ago. I’ve been having ice cold showers for one week. Do I feel better? I don’t fucking know. Am I confused?
Yes I fucking am.
I’ll tell you why. An ice cold shower is fundamentally a very unpleasant experience. Not even when you’re past the stage of hyper-ventilation and you’ve semi-gotten used to it, is it even vaguely enjoyable. I’m not going to lie, the immediate aftermath is other-worldly. The feeling as you dry yourself off and begin to warm up whilst still feeling all tingly is incredibly invigorating. Kind of like the feeling you get when you use that mint shower-gel, but with the bonus of not looking about twelve.
But the shower itself is I repeat not enjoyable.
Which throws up an important philosophical question. Should we do things that are fundamentally torturous because we know we’re going to feel better after having done them? That seems a little like focusing too much on the destination whilst letting the journey go to shit. Like living a life of pain and martyrdom only to earn eternal salvation once we move onto the next life. Sounds familiar.
Surely life is in the doing. And showers are one of life’s great pleasures. The last time I enjoyed a shower was over 8 days ago. At the moment they are sources of incredible discomfort for me. Just thinking about them at my desk makes me go all Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.
Stop taking cold showers then dickhead.
Because these one-syllabled punks Wim Hof and Paul Chek have got me thinking that if I continue to prostrate myself at the hands of their cultish teachings, then my life is going to be better in a myriad of different ways. One of them says it’ll even improve my sex-life, which is interesting, seeing as I literally can’t remember the last time I had sex.
I can’t go back to the joys of hot showers because as much as I might enjoy being in them, I won’t enjoy the sadistic feeling of coming out of them. And now, if I even think of cranking the dial towards hot as I lie there in the foetal position convulsing in the corner of my shower crying out for it to stop, I keep imagining the Ice Man looking down on me and shaking his head sternly like the terrifying dude in the painting in Ghostbusters 2.
This sub-zero Catch 22 is ruining my life.
Fuck you Wim… I’m into it.