“Wanna go to this seminar with me?” Sure, I replied. Pretty sure I was in the middle of doing ten things when she asked. Click link. Register here. All set! And then realized what I signed up for. #wompwomp
Apparently it included taking an ice bath in the winter.
Oh well hey now, not exactly what I had in mind for the first month of the year but then again, why not. Plus it’s a day with my bestie. One Wim Hof Method seminar with Jacob Mark coming up…
What is the Wim Hoff Method?
Nothing terribly new, in fact even though cold immersion therapy (or hydrotherapy) has been around since the 19th century, it is currently ‘trending’. Pro athletes and the crossfit world are using cold immersion therapy post training to reduce inflammation. Aaaaand little tin tubs filled with ice are popping up in backyards and instagram everywhere.
What the Wim Hof Method really boils down to breathing techniques, mindfulness, and cold immersion.
Jacob Mark and Jess
Jacob and Jess are a dynamic couple who’s authentic, passionate, and easy going vibes instantly create a comfortable environment for learning and connecting.
As the Wim Hoff Method instructor, Jacob Mark runs through the breathing techniques, mindfulness, and cold immersion. Along with showing videos that explain the science behind the benefits. His passion for healing and knowledge is apparent, and shines through during the seminar.
The day is thankfully broken down to digestible and enjoyable chunks of learning and movement. There is even a warm up yoga sesh by Jess, someone I instantly got a good vibe from even thought my yoga game is oh-so-lacking.
Being uncomfortable, and mentally working through it is something of an old friend as a veteran. As it’s often said in the military “if it ain’t rainin’ it ain’t training”. Through those experiences, there have already been multiple exposures to the cold and wet for extended periods. Not to mention extreme heat, being dirty, traumas, long physical exertions, and everyone’s favouritev – stress positions. My American friends would say “embrace the suck”, ha ha, but joking aside, these exposures force you to go within yourself and find the resiliency that will bring you through to the other side.
And then there was years of skydiving, which always brought a healthy dose of fear but-we’re-going-to-do-it-anyways approach.
And what about cold immersion? Well if swimming in a lake in the fall or dunking in the glacier river post hike count, then yes, that happens. Often enough. Because nothing feels better after the mountains than a refreshing swim.
Being uncomfortable and living an unconventional life…well that’s just normal in my books.
Ice Ice Baby
So there was no fear or apprehension when it came time to have a dunk in a tub of ice outdoor.
I took a step in and had a few moments to adjust before embracing the cold. And when that happened…the feeling ‘contentment’ washed over, the noise of the world faded, and I smiled.
Ok, I’m done. Check ya later boss. Outta of the tub I go and back into warm clothes and movement with the gang. Music was playing in the seminar room, and as much as we were doing the movements taught to support that post bath feeling…it was hard to resist a little bum wiggle and flat out dancing at one point.
Walking out of the building, I turned my phone on out of habit. And the damn thing lite up like nobodies business with messages and notifications. As fun as it is to be connected with people through social media and texts…I wasn’t done indulging in being connected with myself yet.
Back to airplane mode. Ugh, that felt good.
And in silence, as the snow storm was kicking in, I headed over to a local trail along the water. The cold felt warm. The disconnection felt connected. It was peaceful and needed. Why don’t we do this more often? I mean, I already have my phone off an average of 18hrs a day, but for some reason it felt a little more rebellious and right today.
Can we all please give ourselves permission to disconnect, to slow down, and to savor life.
Wrapping Things Up
Whether it the Wim Hof Method or hydrotherpay or cold water swims for the fun of it…there is something to be said for the growth that occurs when we immerse ourselves in be uncomfortable. It forces us to dive in to ourselves just a little deeper, which is a place where arguably, a lot of the magic happens. 😉