The Only 2 Real Excuses for Refusing To Take A Cold Shower

by 66 Comments

I love cold showers. I hate them, but I love them because the more I take them, the more I see them as a litmus test for finding out who you are.

In fact, every time someone tries to explain why they don’t need to take cold showers before they even try them, I lose a little bit of respect for them.


Because cold showers are such a simple and accessible way to practice being uncomfortable. There’s almost no opportunity cost or downside to taking cold showers. You’re just cold for a few moments. Even when people don’t believe the psychological/discipline/mental benefits of taking Cold Shower Therapy™, there are still a ton of real world health benefits to taking cold showers.

There are no downsides to taking cold showers. You already take showers, so why not make them work for you? If you need someone to hold your hand while you take them every day for thirty days, I’ll do that.

People tell me why they don’t need to take cold showers, why they’re the exception to the rule, and why this doesn’t apply to them, but every single response I get boils down to just one of two excuses.

Reason #1: Inability

You are physically incapable of taking a cold shower. Either the fear of taking a cold shower is absolutely crippling, or your small little bubble of comfort is so vitally important that there’s absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing, that’s worth ever worth stepping outside of it for.

A few days ago, people were going back and forth on Twitter about #cst and someone said:

“I’ll take a hot shower any day… I would rather be relaxed than ticked off.”

I find that sad. Not sad in the sarcastic sense, but sad as in this actually makes me sad for this person. Essentially they’re saying that their goal in life is to be relaxed rather than to do something important or meaningful that might be hard, difficult, or uncomfortable. Even if it might tick them off.

Now, they’ll quickly say, “but it’s just a shower. It’s not my life,” and I will vehemently disagree.

How you do anything is how you do everything. If you let that beat you in the shower, it’s only a matter of time until it beats you in life. Consider this quote:

“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-”if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.” – Then Die

Every time I read this, I always end up coming back to this one part:

If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

If you physically cannot take cold showers (not even for thirty days, but just for five minutes), just say that, but know that if you put a limit on one area of your life (even if it’s as dumb as the temperature of your shower), it’s going to carry over into other areas of your life and there are going to be other areas where you “can’t” do something because you’re not willing to make the trade-off.

This is where a lot of people say something like:

“Well, you don’t understand… I really like hot showers.”

Well, yeah, so do I. In fact, I completely understand. That’s normal and that’s exactly the point. By taking a cold shower, you’re choosing to do something you wouldn’t normally do, even though it may be uncomfortable.


People love this theory of being uncomfortable (they’ll comment on the posts, pin the crap out of the image above, and tell you in person that it’s a great talk), but as soon as you ask them to put it into practice, with something as simple as cold showers, their real character shows. It becomes very apparent whether they actually want to start doing something or whether they just want to browse through inspirational porn and live vicariously through other people.

Cold showers can train you every single day to do something and make the tougher, more uncomfortable choice.

Reason #2: Arrogance

This might be the most dangerous excuse out there. Sadly, it’s also more common than the first excuse. The first thing 90% of people say when they hear about Cold Shower Therapy™ goes something like this:

  • That’s stupid.
  • That’s so dumb.
  • There’s no way that’s actually helpful.
  • That’s a stupid idea and you should feel stupid.
  • You’re a terrible person, Joel, and I hate you.

See, it’s not enough for someone to just think the idea’s stupid. They have to let you know how stupid they think the idea is. I got this email from an ex-subscriber a couple of months back (the name is hidden to protect the innocent arrogant).

cold shower email

Yes, Bill Gates and Pres Obama are successful because they take cold showers. I’m unsubscribing, you must think we’re real idiots.

My response: See ya!

I’m okay with these people unsubscribing because I don’t want that type of audience. I don’t want a bunch of readers who are trying to rationalize their comfortable lives. I want doers.

What’s funny is that every person who sends me a response like this thinks they’re original. They somehow think that I haven’t heard their excuses before.

I’ve got bad news. These excuses are not original. What these people think is exactly what I thought when I started taking cold showers. It’s what everyone thinks when they start. But guess what?

If you’re so arrogant that you judge and dismiss an opportunity to get better without even trying it, that’s going to seep into every area of your life.

I talk about being uncomfortable with endurance sports and life in general and I understand that not everyone will run a marathonjump out of planes, or travel around the world. Those things don’t appeal to everyone. They can seem like lofty, crazy, impossible goals. I get that.

But a cold shower?

All it takes is five minutes of doing something that you already do every day to test a theory. If you think your five minutes are too valuable to spend even attempting such a thing (even if for no other reason than to shut me up), you might have an arrogance problem. That arrogance problem is going to keep you from doing some pretty amazing things (that might also sound a little bit stupid at first).

Why This Matters

So, why does this matter? Why won’t I just shut up about this already? Well, the two reasons that most people miss out on opportunities in life are the same reasons that most people refuse to take cold showers.

Inability To Become Uncomfortable

The inability isn’t really an inability to do the thing at all. It’s an inability to make yourself uncomfortable. It’s an unwillingness to make the trade-off necessary to get the desired results.

Don’t be upset about the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do.


People do this all the time, whether consciously or unconsciously. They give up before they even start. They pre-disqualify themselves. They become “unable” to do things. They take away any power they have to change things. They let life roll over them simply because it’s “too hard” to do the things they say they want to do and they settle for doing the stuff that’s easy, comfortable, and “normal.”

It’s an incredibly dangerous mindset to have (and one that I had for years). This is how so many people don’t even try to do the things they want to do.


This is equally as dangerous.

If you’ve ever seen even a tiny bit of success, the most important thing in the world is realizing that you don’t know it all. You have to cultivate an attitude of humility. If you fail to do this, you’ll think you’re invincible, immortal, or above the rules, and you’ll begin your descent downwards.

Pride comes before the falls over and over and over again.

So, before you start to say, “I don’t need to take cold showers because of XYZ and because I’m the exception,” pause for second and realize that that’s what everyone says.

That’s not a figure of speech. Literally everyone says that.

And they’re all lying to themselves. Until you step into the cold water, you’re lying to yourself.

Because the only people that don’t need to take the cold showers are the ones who are already in the shower before they finish reading this article. Because they’re not looking for reasons to stay comfortable. That’s not their main concern. That’s not their primary aim. They’re looking for reasons to get better. So, when they’re offered a way to get better, like taking five minutes of cold showers, it’s a no-brainer for them.

They do a super fast cost-benefit analysis in their heads:

Worst case scenario: They’re cold for five minutes and they hate this guy from the internet named Joel Runyon.

Best case scenario: They might get better in some small way that they weren’t aware existed before.

Impossible doers are willing to try. They know they don’t know everything, so they’re willing to experiment.

They’re people like Rita. She thought I was crazy but she decided to try cold showers anyway. So she took thirty showers in thirty days. Then she decided enough was enough. She decided to take control of things in her life and take 365 cold showers in a row because she could. Over the course of that same year, she dropped seventy pounds because she could. Because she was in control. Because she was OK with doing things that made her uncomfortable.

Cold Shower Rita

The Challenge

If you haven’t taken a cold shower yet, no matter what your excuse is – whether it’s a crippling addiction to comfort or an attitude of arrogance that tells you that you can’t possibly benefit from Cold Shower Therapy™ -, all I ask is one thing.

If it’s really not that big of a deal, do me a favor. Take five minutes and shut me up.

Be willing to experiment.

Five minutes. One cold shower. Try it.

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  1. says

    I have been reading BIT for about a year now. I always thought Cold Showers were stupid. I tried them a couple times and hated it. Then Joel posted this up and needless to say, Cold Showers then became an ego trip. It was about my pride. The first one was the longest five minutes of my life. Now a couple weeks later, I look forward to them. They are awesome! No better way to recover from a workout and refocus yourself then some self-prescribed cold.

  2. Decker says

    Hey, I just started the 30-day cold shower challenge, and I’ve come down with a cold. Will continuing the cold showers help me heal or slow down my healing? I understand the cold showers definitely help fevers, I was just wondering if colds were different. Thanks!


  3. jonathan says

    Day 4 completed
    I REALLY REALLY didn’t want to do the cold shower this morning. I woke up early and was so comfortable in bed – why would anyone give up a little piece of heaven for a brutal breath robbing, brain freeze, chill inducing interlude of nightmare. The funny thing was that i knew I would, no matter how hard it was, and how much I delayed the moment, (and I did), I knew I would step into that shower. Do I thank you or curse you Joel, definitely the former.

    An unexpected pleasure out of all this – my colleagues at work all think I’m crazy and disparage the exercise – makes me want to do it more. 26 days to go, i sort of want to make it a lifestyle habit but also don’t.

  4. Joe Midnight says

    Wow only white people would come up with this. First of all a cold shower is not a challenge or something to do because you want to step out of your comfort zone. Its something Millions do because that is the only way they will get clean! Try growing up with no electricity never mind heated water! I took showers and cleaned myself properly not that 5 minutes nasty crap! White folks are so arrogant what we minorities have to endure (yes even in good ole USA) because we have no choice they turn it into a sport a challenge! SMDH. Minorities and the disadvantage are too busy trying to get on with life to turn these ridiculous things in “adventures or challenges”. When you can take a 30 minute bath in an ice cold watering hole and be on the constant lookout cuz a jungle cat 10 times your body weight can come on down any moment but you have no choice but to do it if you wanna get the grime of hard work off you then you tell me about G darn challenges. You are the arrogant P@*#@!

      • Edward says

        Have you ever thought of the fact that maybe a person just doesn’t want to take a cold shower.I’ve taken cold showers and they don’t feel as good as a warm shower. So I don’t take cold showers it’s not because I can’t it’s because I simply don’t want to.

      • Ygna Pocpower says

        Racist against white people? Check your privilege (and definitions). Racism is the systemic benefit of the majority race over minorities. Choice is the key factor here…the privilege of choice. Not everyone has that privilege even here in the US like Joe says.

        • AP says

          Uh, check *your* definition:

          Racism: “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.”

    • Nick Shoelson says

      This comment bothers me beyond words. Although I can understand where you are coming from to a certain extent, the part about taking an ice cold bath in watering hole for 30 minutes is just plain stupid. If someone had a fear for their life while bathing, and they really believed a jungle cat was going to come and eat them, I think they could get in an out in less than 30 minutes. I think this is a classic example of what Joel would call “arrogance.”

      Also, to Ygna Pocpower reverse racism is a certainly a thing. I saw this many times going to a diverse high school with many teachers of African-American descent. Many of these teachers would treat the Caucasian kids terribly and the African-American kids like kings. It was sad to see.

    • Dan says

      White people? Or people that have warm water? Don’t assume that white folks are more privileged. There are plenty of white people who don’t have warm water to bathe in. (Like in Russia, for example)

  5. Fran McHugh says

    I’ve had to take cold showers in the past, just because there wasn’t any hot water. Not a big deal, though I prefer hot. OTOH, it has been a long time and I’m up for a challenge. I’m in starting with tomorrow’s shower. See you in 30 days.

  6. Mari says

    I hate you Joel for posting this lol and my husband for not paying the gas bill! So i read this and decided to try it. I was in the shower and was so afraid of the cold water hitting my body. I was a bit upset of what i was afraid of “cold water” really! So i just jumped in front of the shower head and let the water hit me saying to my self it’s only five minutes, it’s only five minutes and before you knew it i was out. Felt great!! Thanks

  7. Sadie says

    I love this blog! I’m going to try and do this! And your posts are really inspiring! Right now I’m trying really hard to get better, but I find I don’t push myself enough. I always reach the workout goal, but I still leave disappointed. Because I know how good I do on race day, depends on how hard I push myself today, and everyday, but I don’t push myself enough. I believe your blog is going to help me become more determined so I can achieve my goals and push myself more . Thank you :)

  8. jim says

    I love reading motivating articles and things that make me rethink things. What is funny is that I already take cold showers and have for the majority of my life. So I just spent the last few minutes going through the reasons why and when I do this. I do this when I need extra focus to accomplish something usually physical. The physical activity (martial arts, cross fit, or weights/running) is going to be uncomfortable already, so I think I am just prepping myself. I also take them a lot in the morning just to amp up my system to get ready for the day.
    I am starting right now going to track my consecutive cold showers and lets see where it goes.

  9. Nadja says

    Yeah, I don’t know if this is working for me. I have been doing it for a week now and since the beginning I actually enjoyed the cold showers. Since I don’t find it uncomfortable, does that mean I get none of the psychological rewards?

  10. Richard says

    I have cold showers. Hot showers dry out the skin. I also don’t use soap or shampoo or any product of any kind and just let my skin look after itself. For millions of years our bodies were capable of managing itself and then soap came along and like hot showers, we don’t need it. People think I am completely crazy and maybe I am but I am free.

  11. says

    I have been wanting to try cold showers for a while based on the health benefits. Your posts pushed me into actually trying them.

    I am still working my way up to five minutes. At the moment, I just start with the cold one, and then jump out, and have a warm shower to actually clean myself… But I will get there.

  12. Chris says

    I started CST just a few days ago, and I was incredibly surprised and embarrassed at how many excuses ran through my head to prevent me from doing it! I knew that I’d let myself “slip” a few years ago, but I hadn’t realized how far I’d slipped.

    Such a simple, brutally honest, and effective self-test. Thank you, sir.

  13. Sandra says

    Just did the challenge, 5min cold shower, talk about brain freeze, that was cold, boy do I know I’m alive, it was actually invigorating.

  14. Harrison says

    Already take the cold showers… best feeling in the world.. mostly a physical thing, but there has always been a slight feeling of having achieved something. Having conquered something most people cannot. If I have time I take 10 minute cold showers.. This actually reminds me of a passage in the Bible in the “parable of the talents”.. the line goes “you have been faithful over a little, I will put you incharge over alot”. I suppose these guys figured out the human condition.. and make people fast etc so that they can conquer the “little” things before tackling the big things in life

  15. Tessa says

    Hey man, I agree with you. Cold showers do a lot of good and they’ve certainly improved my life, but there’s no reason to start feeling superior because you do it. No need to push things on your friends –or strangers, I don’t know your life– if they clearly don’t want to start taking cold showers. People don’t change their habits just because someone tells them they should. It’s not right to be so elitist about something as simple as taking cold showers. They probably say it’s “stupid” and other stuff because you’re annoyingly pushing it on them so hard. Relax, man — not everyone needs to be like you. Cold showers aren’t for everyone.


  16. James says

    I only started taking cold showers a few months back when the hot water unit broke down at my house. Once I got over the initial shock at the start (it’s far easier if you wet your arms and legs first before moving onto your head and torso) it was refreshing, and now I actually find it enjoyable and wanted to see if anyone else felt the same. I only take hot showers on Sundays now. Very good article!

  17. Melissa says

    I don’t get why people can’t take cold showers. Wait a second, yes I do. I love hot showers. I’m trying to take cold showers now but I know why I didn’t want to.

    I’m not even sure if I’m spending 5 minutes in the shower. I have to admit I’m keeping them as short as necessary to get clean and that today was only my second day. I shampoo and I cover myself in soap and I rinse. That’s it. It gives me a headache. I think it’s similar to brain freeze.

    I’m doing it to save energy and I hope I can do it for life.

  18. sam jones says

    This is the stupidest furum i have ever read. Your 2 reasons are arrogance and innability. You are arrogant for assuming this. The truth is that you actually get clean when using warm water but dont with cold so who the hell wants to get under cold water for no friggin reason when its as easy as turning on warm water. As for innability, i am pretty sure it isnt going to kill anyone if they must have a cold shower, its just a smart preference. Why would you even begin to think that everyone has to try to be uncomfortable to enjoy life? Next time you start a forum do some thinking first dumba$$

    • Jordan Sims says

      I believe you were trying to spell “forum” and “inability”. You can get as clean by taking cold shower, and probably in a shorter time, thus saving water and heating energy and helping the environment, so I don’t know if hot water is a “smart preference.” Just keep that in mind if you don’t believe the health benefits. Regarding your question, Joel says that the point of being uncomfortable is to practice making tougher, difficult, and non-normal choices, not to enjoy life. If you can’t make the harder choice of taking a cold shower for five minutes, the worst case scenario of which would be you being cold and hating Joel and no one else would be affected, how would you make other harder choices in life that would have greater consequences and affect not just you but also many others?

    • Jeremy says

      “Why would you even begin to think that everyone has to try to be uncomfortable to enjoy life?”

      I’m not sure if this applies to anyone else, but in my case, I stayed within my comfort zone for most of my life. I was quite, quite depressed. I began to feel much better when I allowed myself to stretch my limits and reach out of my comfort zone.

      I also don’t understand why you need to be so angry at Joel. He is simply trying to enrich others’ lives, to make them appreciate what they have and do service to them. Even if his post was “arrogant” it would still far outstrip your uncalled-for post in terms of helping others. We already have enough people striking down those who do good, so please don’t become one of them (:

    • Joe says

      I don’t think you really read the entire forum, for you have failed to acknowledge the fact that challenging yourself by taking a step outside of your comfort zone has beneficial impacts in the long run. Additionally, there are many more benefits in taking a cold than a warm/hot shower. However, it all just comes down to whether one wants to do it or not. The bottom line, it’s alright if you don’t choose to take a cold shower, but don’t attack the writer himself just because you strongly disagree.

  19. Raquel Toledo says

    COLD SHOWERS ARE THE SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!They might be tough in the first minute…but once you master the cold water…you think to yourself…that’s all it is….and think that way next time you are in a situation that causes you pressure….I really like this article!

  20. Julian says

    I’ve been taking cold showers for a months or so now. I just stumbeled upon this site. Whatever. It’s the shit. Words can’t describe it. It’s the shit. It’s the shit. It’s the shit ….

  21. Sid says

    I get it. It’s not stupid, or arrogant, or a slight against those that do not have access to cold water. That’s not the point. I get it, Joel. And I tried it. And it turned my day(s) around. Mental stagnation gets quickly cleared away by a). the cold and b). pushing yourself outside of a comfort zone, even if as minor as having a delicious, invigorating cold shower. Though I say ‘minor’, it clearly has struck a chord with a lot of people. That’s a good thing too. P.S. Your blog is the only blog I enjoy because it’s straight forward, no-nonsense and no bs. I like that. Glad to see others getting something from it too.

  22. Brian Xie says

    Does anyone know how Joel Runyon was able to get these people who don’t want to take hot shower to talk? And why not take cold showers just to save energy and water if people think it is stupid and doesn’t have health benefits?

  23. jessica says

    Couldn’t I just eat something I don’t like too? Why is the shower specifically what holds these psychological benefits? And this isn’t really viable if you shave in the shower. And before I get crap for this comment, I’m really just looking for answers, and yes I have tried this.

  24. Chip says

    Holy Hell. Just got out of my first cold shower. Is it bad that I am proud of myself for doing it. Few things though one mountain feed spring water that my house used is so cold it hurts. That said I wish the app kept time to see how long I was in. You really need to have your shower down to 5 minutes to make it easy on yourself. I just stood there and endured my usual which is about 10-15 minute. OMG brain freeze can happen on the outside and remember to breathe. all this said I cam clad I did it and may start doing them more though maybe a bit more tempered.

  25. nick says

    I’m going to do this. I have a love/hate relationship with the cold.

    I live in Massachusetts and I love swimming in the ocean in May (waters 45 degrees), walking outside during the winter without a coat (20 degrees), refusing to turn the heat above 50 degrees in my house.

    I hate the cold however I handle it well. Which is why I haven’t tried the cold showers yet, I can endure the cold very well, I just don’t like to be uncomfortable if I can help it.

    Seeing these health benefits though has convinced me, it will be worth the discomfort, just like swimming in the ocean, keep the house heat low, and going for winter walks.

  26. Edgar says

    Hey Joel, don’t know if you will see this and reply but any tips or techniques for a fresh beginner. Maybe breathing techniques or something. My problems are freaking out cause its too fucking frigid. I really wanna start doing this. but seeing how I normally take long warm showers, the transition is going to be difficult but i’m willing to change


  27. Ella says

    This article is ridiculously inspiring. I already take a cold shower everyday (I have no choice) so I don’t empathize with how hard taking a cold shower is, but that story about Bruce and running hit home.

    Thank you for this.

  28. Ambur says

    For some reason I found this post and I was curious and started reading. I was about to actually get in the shower when I had found it and started reading (strange). Well half way through reading I got in the COLD shower. I took that COLD shower and I actually started enjoying it! No I didn’t take a 5 min. Shower I took a 6 min shower :) thanks for inspiring me! Not many people do that! Crazy how one blog about a cold shower inspired me! :) Thankyou :)

  29. Kennon Brown says

    Yesterday, April 23, 2014 was my 30th day of starting with an ice shower.

    I didn’t want to do it, but that ‘win’ first thing in the morning sets up my day like nothing else.

    I also discovered something important that marks the difference (for me) between goals I hit and those I fail to hit.

    The cold shower is a thing I do. Done. Achieved. Success.

    Sticking to a diet was a huge list of things I had to not do, over and again, each time temptation come up. Not so much of a success for this goal.

    But now I have flipped the format of my diet.

    Instead of things to avoid, I have a plan of meals that I must eat each day.
    Ate my healthy breakfast, done. Achieved.
    Ate a the planned lunch, bingo!
    Ate the dinner I had decided on ahead of time. Success!

    Turns out that passing on the snacks is a lot easier if my real goal was to get all of that good food into me first.

    Thanks for the challenge.

    Sorry about cursing your name in a loud voice every morning for the last month.


  30. Harry says

    Excuse me for being negative and call this thing stupid, I was taking cold showers because I like the cold water shock on my body, yeah I am weird like that, anyhow, I ended up with a major case of bronchitis. Stupid, stupid, stupid… I do sneak a cold shower here and there once in a while, but the wife really gets on my case when she finds out I do it… ugh.

  31. Marco Angioluci says

    Just finished my cold shower. That was great.

    “I will train my mind and my body will follow”

  32. Betty says

    I already take cold showers. As it is, there are people in this world who have to walk miles to get what I can turn on a faucet to have, and a fair amount of my life has been sandpaper instead of Charmin anyway. What’s a little cold water?

  33. Jeff Edwards says

    Just wanted to let you all know that I’m 17 and have been doing cold showers, morning and night for an entire year. Never in that time have I even touched the hot water tap.
    My parents divorced, my dad committed suicide and my life turned upside down, and that’s when I decided to do it. Since then, my life has done a full 360 degree turn and I attribute that to being able to do something that takes my full willpower to accomplish twice a day.
    I’m a happy person and I hope you guys will find the same type of happiness if you decide to take the challenge.. And who knows.. Maybe like me, you’ll continue with it for the rest of your life because of all the benefits it has to offer!

  34. laurie says

    Found this after going on your paleo site. Here’s what happened:

    3 wks ago: Read paleo blog, started the diet, felt remarkably better, noticed some of the weight in my body appeared to be water. Bought OTC diuretics and they helped. I work out 3x/wk, eat well, but hovered around 175 lbs for 8 yrs, since an accident/emergency neurosurgery on my back. I was strong but round like the Michelin (wo)man.

    2 wks ago: Became a Joel fan and found this site. Saw the post on CST and tried it (for as long as I could – was diagnosed with Hashimotos 3 yrs ago, body temp is 96-97 degrees even with meds). The story about Bruce hit home in a major way. As 2nd shower cleared my head, decided to go to my doc and demand to be tested. She started me on a better diuretic, ran tests for everything that might cause edema. I began riding my bike everywhere instead of driving. Went to the gym with your advice of high intensity. Kept up with paleo and cold-ish showers.

    1 wk ago: Went camping 4 days in Ruby Mtns at 7500 ft, rode bike 4.5 miles straight up a canyon with a 1200 ft elevation change, went down an extra 2 miles and did 2 more miles up; went on hikes, about 16 miles and 2500 ft elevation gain. Every time I thought I could go no further, I would say “then die.” I’d stop and breathe for 2 minutes and go on. Ate paleo, sat in glacier-melt rivers. Came home, doc called, no heart disease/liver or renal failure/etc. Looking at major gluten sensitivity from the stress of the accident, or could be celiacs. Carrying over 30+ lbs water and hashimotos may have been triggered by it. Road biked 20 miles in celebration, including my nemesis hill.

    I am 49 and can see definition in my lower arms for the first time since 2006. The look of being 9 mo. pregnant is subsiding (maybe look 4-5). I have redefined the word “possible.” Still can’t take a 5 min ice-cold shower, but haven’t taken even close to a warm one since.

    I’ve been scared for a majority of my life, since being sexually abused as a kid. I put myself in a comfort bubble as an adult, as if I deserved distance from discomfort or “un-ease”, to the point where I didn’t even recognize the protective skin ballooned around me, accepted it as my fate. A new attitude is rising from my shrinking gut: ok world, whatever you’ve got. F-you. Here I come.

    You helped me push the reset button: 3 weeks, a life.

    What if I had never stumbled onto your sites? What if you had never written them?

    Forever grateful Joel, forever grateful.

  35. Matt says

    I love the feeling of a cold shower, I’ve only tried it a few times so far.

    But i do have a concern. I have a heart condition, I’m wondering if this makes it dangerous for me.

  36. Melvin says

    Damn, thank you man, I feel awesome! After the article I kind of hated you, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought, I just got out and I feel great! Will defenitely do this more often, just to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

  37. Preslee says

    Joel, I’m so interested in cold showers that I’m writing a speech about it for a college class. Thanks for your article, insight, and example! I have started taking cold showers and I have noticed how much better I feel. It’s empowering!

  38. Charlie says

    Hey Joel, I started my CST eight days ago! I took your advice. I downloaded the app, got up nice and early (about 5:00 AM), turned on the timer, and jumped right in at the coldest setting I could. I love it! I don’t think I could ever go back to taking hot showers. They are way to steamy and make me tired. I plan on taking them for the next year and most likely forever. They’ve got me over my excuses and I stopped eating as unhealthy. I have also started exercising regularly again. I don’t watch as much TV (in fact I would rather go for a run or lift) Thank you very much!

  39. Luke says

    Started cold showering before coming across this challenge – definitely a kickass way to start the day. Water at my place is drawn from a well in Canada. When I turn that sucker on 100% cold I get a brain freeze in <5 seconds, just cant keep my head submerged, but it feels great anyways.

  40. Mark Boris says

    I’ve got the cold showers down. Been doing it for 3 months now. Only question is, what’s next? How can I keep pushing myself to reach that next level? What’s harder than a cold shower?

  41. Katy says

    I think it’s awesome that I am not the only one that thinks cold showers are a way to get out of the comfort zone. I started trying this a few days ago but didn’t tell anyone because I thought people would think I’m corny. But after reading this I want to tell everyone to try it lol. And I do feel very good after I get out of the shower. As wierd as it sounds I feel more confident and proud of myself. Before I tried this I would take really hot almost 20 minute showers. I am a person that never comes out of her comfort zone and it’s time for a change. Next task: waking up early. Lol

  42. Milos says

    I love cold showers, while I am in the shower at least, but the problem is that I get really tired and sleepy after that.Why is that? Anyone else?

  43. Kaiser says

    I found this website today, and saw the cold shower therapy… I was so ready to try it! I jumped in my shower and turned it as cold as it would go… Then I became sad because I found out that my shower literally can’t get cold enough, the coldest it goes is a little below body temperature, not even enough to make me flinch ie tense yup, let alone shiver or feel uncomfortable in any way. So, there is one more reason to add to this list, make sure you have cold water!


  1. […] Cold Shower Therapy is an even simpler test (for those of you that don’t have a bungee jump zone right next to your house). Why? Because you either do it or you don’t and the only reason people don’t do it, is because they’re scared or they’re cocky. […]

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