The Iceman cometh – How I learned to love the cold

The Iceman cometh – How I learned to love the cold

by Marlies Dekkers

I’m a tough cookie, but there are two things I REALLY don’t like: deep dark water, and freezing temperatures. Despite this, two winters ago I found myself standing on the edge of a very deep, dark, and freezing lake in my bathrobe. Wim Hof, the physical phenomenon who had climbed the highest mountains on earth in only shorts, was egging me on: “You can do much more than you think you can!I took a deep breath and started taking off my bathrobe…

Wim ,The Iceman, (56), believes that the human body is capable of  superhuman feats once you find the flow within your physical and mental state. He likes to demonstrate this by running a full marathon in the Namib Desert without a drop of water, or holding his breath for 6 minutes in ice-cold water. “What I am capable of, everybody can learn,” is his motto. Which is why I found myself on that cold winter’s day, walking into a freezing lake, facing my two biggest demons.

Nothing could have prepared me for the shock of the cold. I literally thought I might die. But once I got my breathing under control, (Wim had taught us special meditation and breathing techniques) I made conscious contact with my heart, autonomic nervous system and immune system. In other words: I felt more alive than ever!

Nowadays, I take a cold shower first thing in the morning. My thermostat is set at a nippy 18 degrees Celsius, and I step outside without a coat. My mom would kill me but I feel great! Not just because my immune system is stronger than ever, but because I conquered my biggest fears. Am I turning into the Ice woman? Definitely not! But I love what the cold does to me: Awaken My Senses, again and again.

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