Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC

Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC


Translator: Kateryna Linchevska
Reviewer: Queenie Lee Thank you. Today I’m going to share with you guys
about cold showers. How they can change the way
you look at fear, change the way you approach
being uncomfortable, and even change your life. I first was introduced
to the idea of cold showers about two years ago. I was supposed to meet a friend of mine
named Nick Reese in Portland, who was a friend of a friend,
a really successful entrepreneur online and doing really interesting things. I met Nick in a bar
and immediately introduced myself. I told him what I was up to. I had just quit my job,
and I was taking a better job, a bigger job with a better pay, more money, more opportunities, better people to learn from, and eventually one day, when I got done with that job, I would eventually quit it,
start my own business. After listening to me blather on
for about five minutes, Nick took a step back,
and he looked at me and said, “So Joel, why haven’t you started
your own business already?” I was a little bit flustered. I looked at him and I said,
“You know what, I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. I don’t really have the knowledge. I don’t know the right people. I’m just not ready.” He listened to my excuses for a little bit
and then asked the same question, “So Joel, why haven’t you started
your own business already?” At this point, I was a little annoyed because it didn’t seem like he’d listened
to me for the last two minutes giving him my really good reasons,
really valid reasons and stories on why I hadn’t started
my own business yet. So I repeated them to him, hoping that they would get through
to his head this time. And then I wrapped it all up with “besides, I just really don’t know
what to do anyways.” And Nick looked at me, and he said, “That’s not the problem. You already know what you need to do.
You just need to go ahead and do it. What you’re scared of
is you’re scared of being uncomfortable. And if you want to get used
to being uncomfortable, all you have to do is to take 30 days
of cold showers, and you’ll be fine. (Laughter) And he left it at that. We went on to other topics
of conversation. And then I went home that night,
and thought about what he said. And the next morning as I got up,
I decided I was going to do it. I was going to take
30 days of cold showers. So I got in the shower, and almost instinctually
I turned the water to hot. But then I remembered
our conversation the previous night and I decided to turn it to cold. And as I started to turn it
the opposite way, all these thoughts and all these feelings started rushing up inside me about why taking cold showers was a terrible, terrible idea. (Laughter) This is not going to be fun.
This is going to be really, really cold. Who cares what Nick says?
This is stupid. Why are you doing this anyways? And I almost didn’t do it. But I had already committed
to taking 30 days. So one way or another
I turned it to cold, jumped in the water,
and I screamed like a little girl. (Laughter) It was cold. It wasn’t fun.
And I didn’t like it one little bit. After five minutes
of being in the cold shower, I jumped out, toweled off, and 30 seconds
to a minute later I was fine. The next day I went to do the same thing. And as I jumped in the shower
and turned the knob to cold, all the thoughts and all those feelings
started rushing up inside me again: “This is a bad idea. This is really dumb.
This is going to be really cold. Do you remember how bad it was yesterday?” (Laughter) But I did it anyways, turned to cold,
jumped in and screamed like a little girl. After five minutes
I jumped out, toweled off, and 30 seconds to a minute later
I was totally fine. As I kept doing this for 30 days
over and over and over and over again, I started to realize
something really interesting: that all the excuses
I was telling myself in the shower before I turned the knob to cold were the exact same excuses that I
was telling Nick in the bar in Portland about why I couldn’t quit my job. And they were the exact same excuses
I was telling myself in my life about all the different reasons
why I couldn’t do the things that I really wanted to do. As I started to think about that,
I started to realize that all the stories, and all the reasons,
and all the excuses, because that’s what they really were, that I used in the shower to convince
myself not to take a cold shower, those weren’t the thing that kept me back
from taking a cold shower. The thing that kept me
from taking a cold shower was my decision to not be okay
with being uncomfortable. And when I accepted the idea
that I was going to be uncomfortable, and I was okay with it, and then made the decision
to be uncomfortable, that’s what made me take the cold shower, and that’s what made me start doing
different things with my life. And now, the reason this works
is that every single day every single one of you, I hope,
will take a shower. (Laughter) Now, if you’re like most people,
you jump in and almost instinctually, almost automatically
turn the water to hot. It’s normal. It’s easy.
And it’s what most people do. It’s almost the default choice, but it is a choice. And it’s not the only option. So you don’t have to do that. You can do the opposite;
you can turn the knob the other way. You can take a cold shower. It’s not very much fun. It’s pretty uncomfortable,
and almost nobody does it. But you can do it if you choose to. And what you start to realize
is that, like me, all those excuses
you tell yourself in the shower, they can either do one or two things: They can convince you that you’re right, and that all those stories, and all those reasons,
and all of those excuses, they’re legitimate. And they’re going to keep you
from taking a cold shower, and you’re not going to even try. Or, you can decide that they don’t matter. That you decide that one way or another,
regardless of those stories, you’re going to take a cold shower. I’ve been taking cold showers
for about two years ever since Nick told me about this. And it’s one of those things
that I keep coming back to in my life as sort of a litmus test
for the type of person that I want to be. Every single time I find myself
needing a little extra strength or a little extra courage to go to do something
that is hard or difficult, or just a little bit uncomfortable, I take cold showers. So when I was training
for my first Half-Ironman, I took cold showers. When I quit my job, finally,
I took cold showers. When I started my own business,
I took cold showers. When I got in the best shape of my life,
I took cold showers. When I ran my first ultra-marathon,
I took cold showers. When I got up this morning
to do a TEDx talk, (Laughter) I took a cold shower. (Laughter) And what I realized is this: I was looking at myself in the mirror,
and I told myself something. I said, “If you’re not willing
or able to be the type of person that is willing to be uncomfortable
for five minutes alone in the shower, where the only negative outcome
is you being cold for five minutes, and the only person
affected by that decision is you, then how will you ever
have the strength or the courage to choose to be uncomfortable
in a situation where the outcomes are much, much greater, and the people affected by your decision
far outnumber just yourself.” And so I’ve got one challenge
for you guys today. And it’s really, really simple. Tomorrow, when you get in the shower, instead of making the easy choice, instead of making the comfortable choice, instead of doing what most people will do, do the opposite, turn the water to cold, take a cold shower for five minutes, choose to be uncomfortable, and see what happens. Thanks. (Applause) (Cheers)

20 Replies to “Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC”

  1. legend has it that all those people went home that night and took a cold shower..

    And now they are leading our world..

  2. Cold shower are beneficial because they train the body to regulate core temperature. You are supposed to switch between
    cold and warm water until you become pro.

  3. When i got first time in the cold shower i could barely do 30 sec. 😀 You say 5 minutes?! Your are god or something like that! 😀

  4. This is really fantastic and it totally sums up why we don’t do things we know we should .. pain avoidance. Seems like cools showers are a good way to face up to what we have to do if we want to achieve anything. Thank you for this Joel, really really great. This is bravery training! I know that because I’ve just had one and I hated it, but I knew it was learning something beyond the pain.

  5. I take cold showers. About 52 degrees and getting colder as winter approaches. Just take real deep controlled breaths thru your belly and chest. Not only do u acclimate to them, you learn to love them over time.

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