How My First Ice-Bath Changed My Life
A Tale in Six Chapters
(and it wasn’t even the therapeutic benefits)
[CW: pole dancing happens in this post.]
[I tried to capture some media to share in this post, but we did this at nighttime, and the images turned out pretty poorly. You’ll have to use your imagination…!]
|Specifically, Pole Athlete & Artist.
Witness my only Eagle in a public performance, lessons from which I mention in my previous blog post.
Photo by Peter Yeung Photography
I am familiar with much of the wisdom readily available about common rituals and remedies that athletes of different ilks might use in their routines. I am certainly not an expert by any means, but I have gained some knowledge and some practices that I like and that have worked for me.
- Mindset practices
- Success/victory mindset
- Focus before and during training
- Nutrition practices
- Timing (Meals, Fasting)
- Content (Sufficiency, Macronutrients, Micronutrients, Supplements)
- Water (Temperature, volume, frequency)
- Body practices
- Preparation (Smart warm-up, consistent maintenance)
- Training (Timing, Content, Order, Balance)
- Rest (Sleep and other constructive rest)
- Recovery (Bodywork, smart icing to reduce inflammation)
- Prehab or Rehab (injury prevention and treatment)
But I would draw the line at cold showers.
I eventually agreed to create the event, but remained skeptical.
I accepted the invitation.
But I said yes again. And then I did it.
Here are the realizations that changed my life.
1. It’s not any harder than deciding to do it, and then showing up.
…and then I did it a gazillion more times, to the point of having it be the start of combos like this. NOT because I was excited about doing this painful thing again. But because I eventually got curious about what could come AFTER it. Because I was more committed to continuing my learning than to avoiding pain/discomfort. (Thanks for the repost, USPDF!)
So smooth! #uspdfpro @elizabethtuazon Video Submissions now open for the 2019 US Pole Dance Championship! Video Submission Deadline December 16th 11:59pm EST. For details go to www.uspoledance.com Final Stage competition held @Symphonyspace Theater in New York City on April 12-13th. Mens, Womens and Doubles Amateur Competition April 12th – 7:30pm Novice Competition Level 1 – April 13th – 9:30am Novice Competition Level 2 – April 13th – 12:00pm Pro Competition – April 13th – 7:00pm Sponsored by: @lupitpole #poledancing #poledancer #poledanceinsocks #socks #competition #nyc #spring2019 Repost from @elizabethtuazon using @RepostRegramApp – More found footage of that magic combo, especially including “how the hell do you get out of this…?” @davidpoleartistry says #pdspatchcock, but that’s not a thing I do yet. But I’d love to see it and be convinced to learn it! #pdbirdofparadise #pdbrokensplit #pdbrassbridge #spinpole @eunyou_lena @kelly_jo2418
2. It’s a solo experience, but you don’t have to be alone.
|The jewelry my husband and I wore to our wedding, and to get our marriage license.|
Thanks be to John, who was with me the whole time, as much as I needed him. He coached me on my breathing when I started to panic, gave me helpful visuals and analogies that kept me calm, and left me alone once he saw I had tapped into a zone and relaxed. He was super supportive the whole process, all the way from the very invitation to describing some of the process and the physical and mental benefits he derives (much of which is corroborated in this article), to acknowledgement of my rockstar status after I was done, to lending us his tub for our Ice-Bath Picnic in September. He is a real gem.
Speaking of our Ice-Bath Picnic, check out our event on Facebook or on our website! (John will be there too.)
3. Getting outside your comfort zone, no matter how far, is an opportunity to exercise courage.
Each time I said yes, there was a part of me that wanted to say NO. I have learned to have more compassion and gratitude for my fear than ever – it’s there for a reason, and it has kept me plenty safe, comfortable, and alive thus far. Woohoo!
And it’s job is to continue keeping me safe.
AND!…sometimes I want to choose outside of that. So I exercise my courage muscle by choosing past what’s comfortable or known, on purpose. I remember standing up out of that ice-bath (stumbling a little, because blood flow and sensitivity has changed) thinking to myself,
If I can do that…I can do anything.
To quote a line from the fantastical film Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, which I just rewatched with my dear friend, colleague, and fellow athlete Ellen, “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”
|Here’s a picture of Ellen kicking the Chicago Triathlon‘s ASS!|
4. I get the opportunity to walk my talk as often as I choose.
My business is coaching – asking people continually to look past where they would normally stop and consider what’s possible – which sometimes sounds outrageous! If I’m not willing to choose boldly in my own life, why would someone trust me to support them doing it in theirs?
Weirdly, this ice-bath was in integrity with my business. Who knew?
Well, who the f*ck can say, darling, really?
Photo by Jess Rose Photography
Photo by Jess Rose Photography
5. Anybody can describe THEIR experience to you, but nobody can live YOUR experience for you.
The caption of this post included the following:
🎹This was one of the early pieces I got heartily coached on, and I recall the total wonder I experienced when I realized that I, too, could be an artist, simply by deciding to interpret the work in my own unique way. 🎹That gets to KEEP being the point: it doesn’t matter who has done it before me or how; *I* am participating, here, now, and contributing my voice.
6. You don’t have to know “how it ends” to start the story.
I couldn’t leave this section without mentioning this popular Lao Tzu quote: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” (that link takes you to the Bodhi Spiritual Center, a luscious, accepting place in Chicago, where I haven’t even explored the tip of the iceberg yet!) A coach I had in WordPress said it to me recently much more colorfully: “It’s like eating an elephant; you have to do it one bite at a time.” And I’ll be darned if that isn’t true. (You can see my post on Chaos As Perfection to see more thoughts on what’s possible when we think we have our path all planned out.)
Come to our Ice-Bath Picnic.
Tell your story! Comment below or email me.
I’d love to hear from you!