I've given up the idea of having cold showers here. I'm told Denver water is cold, and Ottawa cold water is unpleasant. Here, however, the cold water is tepid at best and actually warms up after about four minutes in the water.
Which is to say, my extremities cool down enough that the water feels warm. I am uncertain if that is the point of the showers, but it seems to work.
Perhaps North Cascade showers will be cold enough to be unpleasant. I guess I'll find out in less than a week.
There's this thing (meme, call to action, trend, club, fraternity, inspiration) going around my small part of the internet where guys (always guys, only guys so far) fix one thing a day. I first noticed Derek Featherstone doing it, and maybe he has inspired the rest of us. I like continuous improvements. I like consistency. I like the magic that happens over a long time when small improvements are done consistently.
The mister replacements I ordered a week or so ago arrived, so I decided today's fix would be installing the missing mister element. The misting system in the corral has six misters, of which five exist and one was missing. For reasons I still don't understand, when I ordered the replacement misting element, I ordered six instead of the one I wanted to replace. Turns out, past self was seeing into the future.
I went out with three in hand, screwed one into the hole where the missing mister is, and turned on the water.
Mist came out only the one I had replaced. The other five were blocked.
I replaced the two I still had in my hands, wow the water in that pipe was hot. Given the air temperature was around 44˚C, I really should have been unsurprised that the water was hot. Really should have been unsurprised.
I wandered back into the house, grabbed the remaining three misting elements, wandered back outside, careful to avoid all the sheep who were convinced I was bringing food (I was not), and installed the remaining three new misting elements.
With the water on, the hose connection leaks, and the misters are misting.
Now I just need the sheep to realize the corral is 10˚C cooler with the misters on, and lie near them, instead of along the house, during the heat of the day.
Well, we (note the lack of capitalization, we are not royal) are on day two of "cold" showers and not much has changed.
I delayed jumping into shower this morning because reasons, but not by much, and by 7:30, I had the water on only cold, and was reversing back into the water.
Aaaaaaaand, again it wasn't cold.
I stood with my shoulders in the water for a bit. I slowly rotated the water onto my shoulder, my chest, my other shoulder, back onto my back.
I realized at this point, I had forgotten to start a timer.
Nothing to be done about that, except complete the full shower experience: my face into the water.
Yep, still tepid.
After counting to 100 in the water in my "oh my god that was the longest 10 second count" ultimate counting pace, I realized that the water was actually warming up. Even the cold water was starting to feel warm. Which is to say, my skin temperature may have lowered to the point where the water was feeling warm in some parts, but it was still mildly cold on my face.
I hopped out, mildly disappointed, mildly delighted at the ground water temperature around here.
Two days down, 28 to go.
Everyone it seems these days is taking cold showers, not for the reduction of sexual frustration, though some may be cold-showering for that reason, but for the health benefits. See Wim Hoff. See brown adipose tissue. See weight loss. See hand waves magically curing depression. All these reasons and I'm sure many, many more.
I listened to a Melissa Urban podcast episode yesterday where she talks about how amazing her 85 days of cold-shower starts are to her days, and heard her challenge for "take a cold shower first thing in the morning for 30 days."
Okay, fine. Claire has often commented about her puzzlement over the various challenges I put forth for myself, what is one more in a pandemic?
So, this morning, I woke up, and, to my delight, ignored my phone, and went to the bathroom. I undressed, turned the shower on full cold, no warm, stepped down into the shower, turned my back to the shower downpour, took a deep breath, and stepped backward into the water flow.
Yeah, so, I moved to Arizona last week.
Yeah, so, Arizona is in one of its hottest summers on record.
The water was at best tepid. The coldest shower I can manage at this moment is a body cooling tepid.
Urban's challenge is to stay in THIRTY WHOLE SECONDS. Yeah, 2 minutes wasn't a problem this morning.
Her winter water is in the 50˚s Fahrenheit. My summer water is likely mid to high 70˚s F. I'm going to need an alternate cold water plan for this to be effective.
Some time around 5:30 this evening, I started feeling uncomfortable (which isn't quite the right word, but neither is melancholy, depressed, blue, ennui-full, yes I made up that word). No idea why (hello 2020), but when the lighting outside started changing, my mood lifted. I went outside to feel the gusts of wind. I shortly went back inside for my wrap-around sunglasses, as the dust going into my eyes, even when I merely cracked them open the smallest bit, was fast becoming problematic.
To my surprise and delight, rain started falling: big, fat blobs of water, smacking hard against the sidewalk, the roof, the porch. I have such wonderful memories of running in Arizona monsoons as a teenager, that I immediately smiled when the first rain hit my face. I soon realized that this rain, however, wasn't the hot monsoon rain of my childhood: it was cold snaps everywhere a drop struck. My first inclination was to retreat onto the porch, maybe into the house, but the lightning dancing across the sky stopped me. I swear, those dances were designed to torment me: every time I pointed the camera at one part of the sky, the lightning zipped across another part of the sky. When I moved my camera to that part of the sky, the lightning returned to the sky I had just stopped viewing. I managed only one decent picture in an hour, and across a good half thousand shots.
Eventually, the rain started dumping hard. The harder it came down, the more I laughed with joy. The last time I had been in rain this hard was in Ottawa, when I ran to retrieve the car in a downpour so heavy I was soaked in the first twenty meters and was accompanied by the thoughts, "I'm the only person out here in this rain," and "People die doing shit like this." Not being able to see down a block because the rain was so heavy is an interesting experience, one that, well, let's be honest, I do recommend to most people.
After the memories of childhood and the memory of the Ottawa Pour, I was quickly reminded how much this house REALLY needs gutters. I don't know how anyone thinks houses in Phoenix don't need gutters. Adding that to my house list.
Of the couple hundred photos I took by pressing and holding the iphone button when the lights started, this is the second best of the monsoon that came through tonight.