365 Cold Showers for a Year
by Eddie Lewis
This post is not 100% on topic for trumpet stuff. However, it is loosely connected to the motivational side of our art…not the showers necessarily, but what the “365 Cold Showers for a Year” taught me.
My Cold Shower Story
My cold shower story started on YouTube. I had watched a number of videos about people taking cold showers every day for a month. The people in the videos claimed it changed their lives.
Here’s one of the videos I saw. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb0h8ZKvJW4
This was only one video of many, but it pretty much sums up the kind of info is out there.
My Student’s Parent
After I had watched these videos, one of my students parents mentioned to me that he was in a Bible study group that was doing 40 days of cold showers as part of their current bible study.
That student’s lesson was on valentines day (2019). I went to bed that night telling myself that I was going to start taking cold showers the next morning.
Which I did.
I had an idea. I was going to do a full year of cold showers, not just thirty days. My student’s father had done 40 days to commemorate Israel’s exodus from Egypt, but the videos I watched all said they were doing 30 days. I decided to do a year.
First 30 Days of Cold Showers
My plan was to do ONLY cold showers for the first 30 days. for the following 11 months, I would make my first shower of the day a cold one. If I was going to take a second shower, for whatever reason, like on days when I am doing gardening or fixing our car, THEN I would allow myself to take a hot shower. But not for that first 30 days. I only allowed myself to have cold showers in that first 30 days.
The first few showers were just as shocking as the guys in the videos said. The funniest thing was that, in my eagerness to finish the shower, I kept dropping the soap. Ha ha ha… Prolonging the cold shower!
Yeah, those first few days were rough. But I got used to it.
When I was done with the first 30 days, I made a Behind the Wheel video about it. What I said in that video was that it didn’t do much for me. I said that I could see how it would help someone who isn’t self motivated, but that I was already pretty good at getting things done.
And that’s true. I don’t retract that statement. But I still had 11 months to go of my “cold showers for a year”!
The Other 11 Months of my Cold Showers for a Year
The nice thing about starting a year of cold showers on the day after Valentine’s Day is that the water is already getting warmer each day. As the days passed, the showers were getting easier, not more difficult.
For those of you who don’t know this, tap water temperatures in Houston, in the middle of the summer, are at least close to body temperature, if not higher. So really, a Houstonian doing “30 days of cold showers” in the summer is a joke.
Interestingly, when we traveled to Phoenix in July, both El Paso and Phoenix had much colder showers than Houston.
Best Year of My Adult Life
2019 was my best, most productive year as an adult, ever!
So many good things got done during my “cold showers for a year” experiment that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. But take this blog as an example. I already had a blog. This blog is not new. But it was dying. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I resuscitated it in 2019 when I was taking cold showers every day. Just one example.
There’s a lot that happened like that in 2019 during the “cold showers for a year” experiment!
I’ll give you one more example. We published five books during the time I was taking cold showers.
Oh, and let’s not forget that I also lost 40 lbs during that time. (I guess that is two examples, not one.)
There are other things that happened in the time that might also explain so many successes in such a short period of time. The only reason I don’t just dismiss the cold shower thing is because these are precisely the types of successes everyone says to expect.
By mid December, I began REALLY hating the cold showers. Ha ha!!!!
Part of the reason for this was that we don’t run the heat in our house. I think the cold showers in the winter are very different if you get out of the cold shower into a heated house. But for us, Pearl and I both agree that Houston’s summers are so extremely oppressive that we welcome a cold house for the couple months that we get of moderately cold weather.
But when the temperature in the house is in the 50’s and I take a cold shower that morning, I just can’t seem to get warm the rest of the day. I grew to really dread taking that first shower of the day.
Now, on some days, my answer to that problem was to jump back into the shower at lunch time to warm up. But usually I just made myself get it done and bundle up in layers of clothing for the rest of the day
It was funny when I had to teach on those days, because I didn’t want to make the students uncomfortable with so much clothing on. I taught those days while shivering. We do use a space heater for the students, but I point it at them, not at me. So yeah, those were some tough days.
About a Dozen Hot Showers for the Year
All totaled, I think I took about a dozen hot showers during those 11 months when I was allowing myself to take a second shower but let it be hot. On most days that I took a second shower, I typically made it a cold one.
As much as I dreaded the cold showers, there was no legitimate reason for me to not take them. THAT’S what’s different about cold showers!
Cold showers don’t hurt anyone or anything. There’s no risk. There’s no pain. It’s just discomfort.
Like Diving Off a 10 Meter Platform
In the first few cold showers, the process of jumping under that cold water REALLY reminded me of when I was in seventh grade and we used to dive off the 10 meter platform at our local pool. I remember as a kid having to turn off the part of my mind that was telling me not to jump.
When I had quieted that naysayer in my mind, I could MAKE myself go through the motions of jumping off the side of this two story tower, into the water.
When the water is really cold, the shower is a lot like that. I have to turn the naysayer in my head off. I have to tell that voice to “shut up”. Then I take my shower very mechanically. I go through the motions.
I have to believe that THIS is what makes the cold showers beneficial. If you practice telling the naysayer in your had to shut up every day, then you have that skill when you need it for the rest of the day. When the naysayer tells you to go ahead and eat that other donut, you already have practice saying “shut up!”. You do what must be done just as mechanically as you took a shower.
That’s how I see it.
In summary, I do see more value in the cold showers than I did 11 months ago. I think more cold showers will always be an option for me. But I’m finished with my “cold showers for a year” experiment. Ha ha!!! I will at least take a break from them for a while.