You might find this hard to believe and likely even straight-up silly, but getting really, really, stupidly cold might just be one of the keys to unlocking some of your overall potential and help you be the best dad you can be.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of the cold being anything more than something worth cursing at violently in the middle of January in New England I encourage you to watch the following podcasts with Wim Hof.
I first learned of the Dutch master of the cold — otherwise known as “The Iceman” — on the “Joe Rogan Experience.” This tremendously fascinating individual introduced me to this concept of embracing the cold but also to the capability of the human body to stretch past its currently accepted limitations.
Without spoiling too much, he’s basically been able to do some superhuman-sounding stuff in front of awed scientists, thriving in extreme cold with minimal clothing, being injected with endotoxin and healing himself intrinsically, etc. … all through a specific breathing pattern he’s developed.
Some more Wim Hof trivia, per Podcastnotes.org:
- World record holder for longest ice bath (1 hour, 53 minutes)
- Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in just shorts in two days
- Publication on him called the Wim Hof method (breathing techniques) where he proved his ability to fight endotoxin that was injected, along with training 12 novices to do the same in four days of training (vs. a control group).
- Testing the Ice Man study is now taught in US Med Schools
- Ran a marathon barefoot in a desert with no water, “running a marathon is about breathing techniques”
Again, things that sound ripped from a comic book, but are instead real-life and scientifically proven.
Hof has been on Rogan a few of times, but several other podcasts at this point as well. All worth listening to. VICE also put together a documentary on him in 2015, along with HBO profiling him as well.
By now you’re wondering what this has to do with being a good dad.
While I’ve yet to incorporate full mountain climbing in shorts into my routine, the Iceman has inspired me to try to work the cold into my daily mix more often to see what it might enhance.
At the end of every shower I take now, I practice doing some Wim Hof-style breaths (download the app below to see how it’s done) and turn the dial all the way cold and just soak that in for a few minutes.
It’s wild the rush of life you get just from doing that.
Instant clear-headedness, relief from tension and inflammation and just an overall tangible sense of calmness compared to when I stepped into the shower.
In other words: a much better state to parent in.
- Cold Therapy | WimHofMethod.com
- The Benefits of Being Cold | TheAtlantic.com
- Ice baths and snow meditation: can cold therapy make you stronger? | TheGuardian.com
- The Physical and Mental Benefits of Cold Showers | TheManual.com
- How Cryotherapy Affects the Brain, the Immune System, Metabolism, and Athletic Performance | FoundMyFitness.com
- Wim Hof Says He Holds the Key to a Healthy Life – But Will Anyone Listen? | Rolling Stone
- Cold Water Therapy | Paul Chek’s Blog
- The Iceman Cameth | Onnit
Now just go take a cold shower and thank me later.