The hardest part about this is stepping into the tub because you know what’s coming. The body knows what’s coming. You’ve already made the decision that it’s going to happen, but nonetheless, the anticipation bubbles up from your cold toes and into the rest of your body. It’s amazing a premature shiver doesn’t take hold of your body. How cold will it feel this time? How long will that brief period of not-so-frigid water last before the shards of ice begin bombarding the largest organ of the body? Or that eternal moment from when you turn the knob on full blast to when the first 17 drops come gushing down on you. 17? 27? 13?
Is it really a rule – that I can’t turn the hot water knob? If it is, can I break it? Will I ever break it?
There’s a level of trust now between you and your body. After doing this for so long, you know that you will not freeze to death because there’s a warm Sea to Summit sleeping bag engineered to withstand sub-zero temperatures waiting for you to climb in. The numbing is only temporary. “Toughen up” Tai would say. “It’s about rewiring the brain.” The night of sleep afterwards is miraculous.
“Make friends with pain and you’ll never be alone.” All in the name of cold thermogenesis. Thank you, Ben Greenfield, for waking up my parasympathetic nervous system.