Polar Plunge Updates

I know I said I would be posting updates, but things have been nuts. However, I did document and post updates to the forums for one of my favorite sites, nerdfitness.com. I’ll paste them in this post.

Update: January 10, 2017

It snowed last week, about 3 inches. Temperatures were below 30 degrees F Friday. To test my training so far, I took a 15 minute walk outside in minimalist shoes (just slip-ons, similar to Vibram Five Fingers), basketball shorts, and no shirt. I could definitely feel the cold, but I wasn’t “cold”. This weekend, temperatures stayed in the teens and lowers 20s. While I didn’t take another walk, I did spend about five minutes each morning outside shirtless and in shorts (tried shoeless, but that only lasted about two minutes, so I put my minimalist shoes on). Did not wear a jacket at all, even while I was out.

Still taking cold showers, starting with warm water for the first ten seconds or so and changing over to cold for the rest of the shower (3-5 minutes). Doing WHM breathing every morning. It’s an interesting experience that is difficult to explain, like no other form of meditation I have ever done before. I feel very mellow afterwards, and I can feel warmth and tingling through parts of my body.

I’m already at $195 in donations, all going to the Special Olympics.

Update: January 16, 2017

Well, the weather since my last update hasn’t exactly been conducive to training for cold. Daytime temperatures have averaged 60-70 F. However, morning temps still creep around 30-40, so I am continuing my shirtless/shoeless morning stretches as well as my WHM breathing. Yesterday it was rainy and around 45 F, so I went for a splash in cold puddles, acting like a child in summer. I’m also continuing cold showers in the morning (been doing this since October, so no problem there).

Update: January 26, 2017

No snow yet, but finally, we’re getting some cold weather. Here’s the update:

*Today, temps around 30-35 F (1.1-1.6 C) with sleet and icy rain, but I took a 15 minute walk in shorts, shirtless and shoeless.

*Still doing WHM breathing every morning for about 15 minutes.

*Achieved my goal of $350 for Special Olympics and still accepting donations.

*Still taking cold showers every morning.

*The Polar Plunge is just over a week away. I’m ready.

Update: January 29, 2017

I have only one thing to say:

If you’ve never sprinted in the falling snow wearing only shorts, I recommend it. It’s quite a rush.

36F (2C) with heavy snowfall (1-3 inches expected by morning) and I just went for a walk. After about 15 minutes I seemed to be just on the cusp of the urge to shiver. I paused, closed my eyes, and did some breathing techniques I have learned from the WHM. The urge faded and I continued my walk. After getting about 100 yards from my house, I broke into a sprint, feeling and savoring the fat flakes of snow as they landed on my bare chest and arms and melted on contact. Once I arrived at my house, only my feet felt cold, but not the pain I barely remember from when I first started the training. They were just noticeably colder than the rest of my body.

In other news:

  • I have surpassed my $350 goal for raising funds for the Special Olympics.
  • Daily cold showers still a go.
  • Polar Plunge is Saturday Feb 4th (last day of the challenge).

Update: Feburary 3, 2017

Tomorrow is the big day: The Polar Plunge. Donors and sponsors helped me raise almost $400 for the Special Olympics! A friend who participated in the past said, “Nothing can prepare you.”

I found out later that the friend had not been “preparing.” No cold showers, no time in the cold, no ice baths, nothing to prepare for such a shock.

I know to some people the Plunge is no big deal. But I am thinking about it like a fitness challenge, one that requires training, both physical and mental: breathing exercises, meditation, cold exposure, etc.

So I would say plenty can prepare me and plenty has. I’m ready.

1. Still spending at least 5 minutes outside shirtless and shoeless in temps below 30 degrees F (-1 C).

2. Cold showers still going well.

3. Added a new element: soaking just my face in ice water before bed until I need to take a breath (recommended by Dave Asprey)

4. Practicing at least 15 minutes of Wim Hof Method breathing every day, although I still need to do today’s.

5. Raises almost $400 for the Special Olympics

6. Polar Plunge is tomorrow!

Update: February 4, 2017

Today is the day! I’m getting restless. But I took another great stride in my cold challenge this morning:

  • Morning temps were 19F (-7.2C). I took the dog for a short walk (about 5-6 mins.) barefoot, shirtless, and in shorts. I think those are the coldest temps I have been exposed to so far for that amount of time since starting the challenge. It wasn’t the cold that bothered me, but the hard frozen ground on my feet felt like walking on rocks.
  • No cold shower today (figured the cold walk served the purpose pretty well).
  • Donation totals: $391
  • Plunge is tonight at 6pm. Prepare for photos and videos next time I post.

Thank you everyone who has encouraged me. I’m not done challenging my body to handle extremes. I will continue cold exposure and cold treatments until the weather warms. Then I may start preparing myself for warm/hot weather, who knows?

And I ended the challenge with a splash:




About Jason

I am a Jesus follower, husband and father, high school teacher, hiker, writer, lover of the outdoors, theater, music, books, and movies.
This entry was posted in fitness, health, Life, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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