Hello there folks.
Cold water immersion, also known as cold water therapy, is immersing oneself in cold water for a set period. It has been gaining popularity recently due to its many benefits, such as reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and increasing circulation. Search Wim Hof for his work on the benefits. This is my experience.
I am privileged to live close to the ocean, so swimming was where I landed in a way.
As a novice and weak swimmer since my school days, partly because I had no access to pools or open water, and as I grew up in a concrete jungle, I never thought that open water swimming in low temperatures was something that I would ever try. I get cold very quickly. My Mom did take me for lessons as a small child so I was able to get by for the casual dips and lengths in the pool and dunks in the ocean; from time to time in my life, never did I think that swimming would become a “thing” in my life. However, when a friend suggested it to me as a way to improve my mental and emotional resilience, meet new people, add to my fitness routine which was initially the drawing card for me, and improve my swimming skills by swimming, I eventually decided to give it a try seven months ago.
I was overcome with fear and anxiety the first time I stepped into the cold water. The shock of the cold water was almost unbearable, and I felt like my body was shutting down. But as I started to acclimate to the water, I began to feel a sense of calm and focus that I had never experienced before.
Over time, I noticed improvements in my swimming skills and so much more. I could hold my breath for extended periods, my strokes became more efficient, and I could swim longer without getting tired. But more than that, I realized that cold water immersion in the morning taught me essential life lessons. By pushing myself past my comfort zone and embracing the discomfort of the cold water without judging my performance as a swimmer, I was learning to overcome my fears and develop mental resilience. I realized that I was capable of more than I ever thought possible and that anything is achievable with hard work and dedication. I knew this already, didn’t I? I think we all do to some degree. The trick is allowing ourselves to experience it by breaking out of our comfort zone. This first-hand experience and opportunity popped up on my radar, and I rose to the challenge.
Whether you rate your journey as successful or not is irrelevant. Isn’t it more about breaking out of your comfort zone and learning something new about yourself and others?
My journey with cold open water swimming has inspired me to encourage others to step outside their comfort zones and try new things. There is always another comfort zone to step out of. Every time is an opportunity to experience something new/ Whether trying a new hobby, taking on a new challenge, or facing a fear head-on, we all can do more than we think we can. It takes us to believe in ourselves and get some help from friends.
In a world that often values comfort and convenience over personal growth and progress, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and resist change. But by embracing discomfort and allowing ourselves to move through our perceived limits, we open ourselves up to new opportunities and experiences that can transform our lives.
Suppose you’re looking for a way to build mental resilience, improve physical health, and challenge yourself in new ways. In that case, I encourage you to try that activity you always wanted to do but have allowed the fear to overwhelm you. Perhaps it is cold open water swimming, like me. Maybe it’s taking that step, making that call, reaching out. It may be uncomfortable initially, but the benefits of mastering something for yourself without competition are genuinely remarkable.
The difficult things we overcome in life become the simple things. It’s the things we remember that pull us through the darker days.
From my heart to yours.
Much Love, as always.
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