Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday, March 31st

Seven minutes in ocean today at 39 degrees in the water and a beautiful 67 degrees outside. However, wind in the mid to high 20s made for water splashing in your face. We had Bob KerensChristine Kulac Reuss, Claudia Ruess, Logan Laszewski, and Bob's dog. Christine was good for five , and the rest of us, including Claudia and Logan, stayed for a bit over 7. Impressive for Logan and Claudia! Good one! First time for Claudia, she is a cold immersion aficionado day one.
Photo here:photo.php 

Wednesday, March 30th

No ocean today but a 10 minute cold shower at 48 degrees. Only did one breath hold at about 9 minutes for 50 seconds. Today was a bit cold.  As always, the coldest part of my body is my back. I see many people report that it is their front/chest. However, I could do the front for a long time. Back is the coldest and then the sides.  I had another calm and peaceful extended breath holds:
1. 1.10
2. 1.50
3. 2.00
4. 2.10

I once again did a 33 minute meditation before the breathing and show.  I find the last 5 minutes of my meditation (estimated time) that my throat and heart chakras really open up and feel warmth in these chakras.  This time these chakras were very open on the breath holds. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wim Hof Method : Week 4

Here is the forth week of data, and my comments.

Summary:  After day 5 I took a 10 day vacation with my boys to the Galapagos Island. Needless to say not a lot of cold water there so took a break for 10 days.  Continued baths and practiced keeping my hands in for a longer time. My hands hurt so bad last week when I put them in the cold water.  I was taking mostly 10 minute showers by this time as the water temp was in the mid fifties in NH at this time. I continued to do more running in low to mid 40s weather with no shirt on and no hat or gloves; only had on running shoes.

'Looking in rear view mirror' (after having completed program and seeing patterns) :  I did not realize I continued cold baths in week 4. I also did not realize I was taking 10 minute showers and/or multiple showers a day. I felt once it got this warm it was not providing same effect, so went with cold bath which is easy to do as you have access to an ice machine.  The 2.30 breath hold was one of my longest of the 10 weeks.  I did get a lot of chakra openings and tingling in body which I now remember but had forgotten about. I also remember shivering a lot in the 10 minute cold showers and the ice baths.  Week 4 is suppose to be two 1 minute intervals of cold showers with warm water in between and one 10 minute shower. I decided to go for as many 10 minute showers as I could.

Breath holds:
DayRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4

Push ups:
340 (felt like puking)
439 (tingling in head)
540 (tingling in face)
635 (first day back after 10 days off)
740 (felt like puking, light headed)

1Felt like I rushed too much on first breath hold.  More relaxed and open chest on others. Felt  tingling in body after push ups.   10 minute bath in 40-42 degree with hands in for the last 7 minutes.
2Think the key on the breathing is to relax mind and body but hyperventilate. When breathing today it felt like my mind was not focused. Did 10 minutes in the ocean with water temp at 49 degrees.
3Ran in 43 degrees with no shirt. Did 10 minutes in cold shower. A lot of tingling and open chakras during the breath holds. Root and crown chakras very open.
412 minute 54 degree shower in morning. More rhythmic breathing. Push ups were good but still doesn't feel right with breathing.
53 minute cold shower in morning, and 10 minute cold shower in evening at 58 degrees. Tingling in body on 3 and 4 round of breathing. 
66 minute shower in morning. 6 mile run at 42 degrees with no shirt.
7After 10 days of vacation with boys, breathing and breath holds not bad.  After 40 push ups, felt like puking, passing out, and tingling in face.  10 minute shower at 53 degrees. Stretching was best ever. Actually touched knee with forehead on front bend on both sides.

Tuesday, March 29th

Thought this was going to another 'pedestrian' cold immersion day of a 10 minute shower day at 48 degrees. I did this in the morning along with breath holds, out of the shower, of 1.10, 2.00, 2.20, and 2.30 minutes. Did breath holds of 40, 1 min, 1 min, and 50 secs in the shower.  The breath holds out of the shower are going great right now. The one thing I am doing is 30+ minute meditation before the I start the breathing and breath holds.  I am much more relaxed doing the breathing, and during the breath hold. Had huge chakra openings during breath holds in and out of shower. 

In the afternoon, ended up doing 10 minutes in Hampton Beach harbor at 101 bridge. Bob ended up going 13 minutes. Bob sets new NH seacoast cold immersion record! 13 minutes in water temp of 39 degrees. I did a measly 10 minutes. Bob could have gone 15 or more. He felt so goooood! Video of his last three minutes here: 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday, March 28th

No swim in the ocean today, but went 'back' to the 10 minute shower.  It was a 48 degree shower with four breath holds of 50 sec, 1 min, 1 min, and 50 sec.  I remember the days of shivering in a 10 minute shower but had very little shivering and didn't feel to cold after.

I did breathing before the shower, and had some of the longest retentions since weeks 4 and 5.  The breath holders were:
1. 1.30
2. 1.50
3. 2.10
4. 2.30

The nice thing was I felt at peace, calm, and nothing felt forced. I had a lot of tingling on the breath holds.  Not sure if this is changing my breath holds (longer), but doing a 30+ min meditation before the breathing the last two days and breathing was much better then has been in weeks.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wim Hof Method : Week Three

Here is the third week of data, and my comments.

Summary:  A lot of tingling and light headed feelings during breathing and breath holding.  Also, saw some colored and pulsing lights during meditation and breath hold.   I already stated to do longer showers (over 2 minutes, 10 minutes in 65 degree water) and try out ice baths. I travel a lot for work and the temp of the water can be much higher then at home.  I read the book Becoming the Iceman and started to do the ice baths based upon what I heard Wim had students of his retreats do.

'Looking in rear view mirror' (after having completed program and seeing patterns) : This week was the start of tingling and lights during breath holds and mediation. I didn't realize how at peace I felt during breathing, breath holds, and mediation. This is definitely a very spiritual program. I did not realize I started going in ocean and ice baths this early on. In retrospect, pretty intense to start 10 minute ice baths at 43 degrees.  The Becoming the Iceman book gave me motivation and confidence it would be ok. I now remember how hard it was to get in the ice baths this week, and how much I shivered while in the tub.

Breath holds:
DayRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4

Push ups:
218 (on knuckles)

1Shower times were 2 1/2 and 3 minutes.  The method called for two 1 minute showers. Felt good in the shower.  The cold water made me laugh and feel a bit light headed. Could tell within a few seconds when I was at 1 minute on breath hold.
2Did a two minute cold shower first thing in the morning.  Did a 30 minute run in the cold.  After breathing, did two 1 minute sessions in shower. Cold all day long after cold shower in morning and run in cold. 
3My face was tingling after push ups. Tingling was during the breath holding.  On second breath hold, tongue felt like it was 'vibrating'.  I saw lights (purple, blue, and pulsating) when meditating.  Did two 2.30 minute sessions in cold shower.
4A lot of arm tingles during breath hold and breathing. Tongue 'vibrating' on third breath hold. Last two breathing rounds felt at peace. Did two 2.30 minutes in shower. 3 minute swim in ocean.  
5Was in warm climate so shower temp high so did ice bath. 10 minute shower at 67 degrees in morning. 13 minutes in 45 degree tub with last three minutes with hands in tub. Felt very, very cold after the bath.  Holding breath felt very calming.  It was hard getting in the tub.
6Traveling in warm again. 10 minute shower at 65 degrees. Eyes were blood shot. 10 minute tub at 43 degrees. Tingling in face after push ups.  Shaking a lot when in the tub and very cold when got out.
710 minute shower in morning @ 65 degrees and 10 minute ice bath at 42 at night. More tingling and light headed during breathing.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday, March 26th

Felt awesome today! Some days you feel the power and some days not. As a road bike riding friend would say, "Some days you are the hammer, and some days you are the nail". Went 10 minutes but could have went longer.  

Dip in the water today. Tom in for a little over 10 minutes and me only about 2 1/2 min outside air temp 42 water temp about 38. Gooood one!

Drew and Logan (my 13 yr old son) went in as well. Both went into to neck. Drew lasted a good 2 minutes up to waist. He was feeling the power as feet were numb and he felt nothing...that is feeling the power.

The picture at the end:

Later in day did 30 minute mediation followed by breathing exercise. Best breathing exercise I have had in weeks. Did quicker breathing with less release of air. Did 1.10, 1.50, 2.10 and 2.10. Felt calm and a lot of tingling in body.  Had feeling at 1 minute could have gone forever.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday, March 25th

Bob Kerens and I went out for good one today. Bob went a little over 4.30 and I was a little over 7.30. Felt invigorating, and a great hot tub after. Water was still at 39 degrees. Air temp was around 38 degrees with a hardly any wind.

Wim Hof Podcast : Beyond Fear

Great Podcast. 

Wim learned early on that you can calm the 'beehive' in your head. The cold stopped this ‘bee hive’ (or what is also know as the ‘monkey mind’). Wim noticed that breathing become more controlled and deeper when in cold water.

Wim has a mission and a message. Wim’s mission is to take away suffering (anxiety), and make people happy, healthy and strong. Wim method is something anyone can do.

Wim Hof’s method combines mental, spiritual, physical, and physiology practices:
1. mental : focus, determination achieved through stressing yourself, and connecting with yourself
2. spiritual : meditation
3. physical : cold and breathing
4. physiology : cold and breathing
Method is breathing, cold exposure, and believing in yourself.

By shutting off the mind (monkey mind) and going into deep part of mind, you become a witness. Fear holds people back from getting to their potential. Fear is not being tapped into because you need to go deeper into physiology and mind in order to over come fear. The cold, meditation, and breathing allows you to go deep into the physiology and mind.

Methods are not complex. The method is accessible: breathing, gradual cold exposure, most is psychological (have to connect with yourself and your mind). Our mind (placebo effect) works like medicine. People have made this complicated. A couple of techniques. A little bit of cold (stress on the body...yes). Able to change mood, influence immune system, and get rid of disease. This comes from breathing, cold and believing in yourself.

People think happiness is comfort. Comfort weakens your body (immune system) and mind; comfort weakens your physiology. You need discomfort to deal with danger. Stress is danger, grief is danger, disease is danger, many dangers in daily life we can not deal with because of excessive comfortable. Real comfort is control, and happiness, strength, and health.

Shut off the mind and go into a deep part of the brain when stressing yourself. Releases endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine, and other chemicals which removes thinking and to be present in the moment. Placebo effect works.

Science is changing. Autonomic nervous system can be controlled. You bring up the PH level when you do the breathing which controls the autonomic nervous system. Science is too complex. Wim is changing science through what he is doing and learning in nature.

5K run this week in low twenties weather. 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday, March 24th - First barefoot run

Probably should not have chosen a 36 degree (low 20's with wind chill) to run first 5K bare foot on the beach.  Had to run some of it in the ocean as tide was coming up.  Lessons learned:
1. Do on a sunny day. Really felt the power/warmth of sun the few small times the sun came out.
2. Having both hands and feet exposed makes a huge difference in keeping both warm.
3. When I went into the 39 degree water, my hands immediately got very cold. Interesting to see how your body is working to force heat to where it is needed.

Pre run looking good:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday, March 23rd

Actually took yesterday off as in NYC of work, and need to thaw out from the many days in ocean and running in cold.  This morning did 11 minute cold shower at 47 degrees with the following breath holds:
1. 50 seconds
2. 1 minute
3. 1 minute
4. 1 minute - Did feel a bit light headed after this hold.

My crown chakra was wide open during the breathing and breath holds.

After having not taken a cold shower (doing mostly 39 degree ocean swims from 5 - 10 minutes), it was different being in the shower.  I still remember the first 10 minute shower where I was shivering pretty bad the last five minutes, and took hours to warm up. Now shivered after shower and was warm within an hour.  

Did 5K run at 39 degrees feels 32 with only shoes and shorts but did last mile with shoes off running in 39 degree water.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday, March 21st

Great day in the Seacoast to NH to do some cold immersion with snow flying and on the ground from last night.   No cold water but did a run today in solid snow storm at 29 degrees with wind chill around 21.  Interesting run today:
1. Car turned around to snap photos
2. Two guys swimming (they were actually swimming) on north beach. They go ever weekend. Potential new 'members' .... Good

Breath holds as follows:
1. 1.15
2. 1.46
3. 1.47
4. 1.55

Did 10 minutes horse stance in snow before the run, and finished with a snow angel. Had epiphany at 5 minutes doing horse stance to two questions I get about doing what I do:  
1. Why cold - Because the cold focuses you.   At 5 minutes the 'monkey mind' (what Wim calls 'bee hive' mind) calmed and I was totally presented.  This was because of the cold.
2. Why that long - If you just go from 1 or 2 minutes or even 3 minutes you don't get to that state of peace and calm. It takes that long to get into to a state of focus and presence. 

Pictures after run:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Wim Hof Method : Week Two

Here is the second week of data, and my comments.  I wish I would have started measuring the shower temp at this time but did not until week 4.

Summary: As I did with the first week, I extended the shower times as much as I could. Wim had you do three cold rounds at 30 seconds. I did most of mine over a minute for each round.   By the end of the week, I was doing breath holds in the low 2 minutes; I noticed that very, very deep in breaths helped with breath holds. I have seen others that have breath holds in the mid and high 2 minutes, but I never did have this.  I pretty much stayed in low 2 minutes, and still there even 4 weeks after completing program.  I went from 20 push ups during as my base and went up to 34. I thought this was great. I know others have done 50 or more push ups but never got there. I do complete up and down push ups so I bit different then what I see in Wim videos.

The visions I mention of skiing with two friends were like movies happening with my eyes closed.

'Looking in rear view mirror' (after having completed program and seeing patterns) : Crown and root chakras really opened up early.  I have mediated for 20 years and have never experienced the opening of the crown and root chakras like this.  Have had opening in the other chakras similar to this but this is very intense.  Openings happen during the breath hold. I didn't realize I started running in the cold this early on. I actually started in mid-30's weather with a t-shirt on.  Interesting I did this as I can now run in sub 30's with no t-shirt on but felt very hesitant to even go in mid or upper 30's with t-shirt on in the beginning.

Breath holds:
DayRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4
51.251.10 1.241.20

Push ups:

1Shower times where 45 seconds, 1 minute and 45 seconds.  Went deeper on the inhale this week and seemed to help. Felt light headed, warm lungs, dizzy and blackness when eyes shut on breath hold. Felt weak, tired after push ups. 
2Many different tingling and other feelings in mouth during breathing. Tingling and numbness in body during breath holds.  Did 40 secs, 1 min, and last one 40 secs. in cold shower. First 40 was by far the hardest.  Run for 33 minutes in 34 degrees with only T-shirt (no hat or gloves).
3Shower times were 50 secs, 55 secs, and 53 seconds.  Ran in cold in under 40 degrees and did last mile with no shirt.  Did about a 3 mile run; tested running bare chested the last mile.  Still feel like not doing something right with breathing.  Too much in? Too much out?
4First time had strong tingling in all of body during breath hold.  Crown and root chakras really opened up during breath hold. Had 'scary' clear visions of skiing with Jen Waterson and Carey Sperry; two friends. Felt very confident and power in body. Nose was running during breath holds.  Shower times of 1 min, 1.20 mins, and 1.10 mins. 
5Tingling and warmth during round two of breathing.  Ringing in ears after round 4 of breath holding.  Did 1 min, 1.30 and .30 in shower. 7 mile run with shirt off for last 3 miles; temp outside was 38 degrees.
6Did breathing with mouth and throat open.  Crown chakra open and tingling on first round of breathing. Tingling and light head during all rounds. Shower was 1 min, 1.15 mins, and 1.05 mins with not much warm water in between.  
71.20 mins all the times.  Felt very flexible during stretching.  During breath holds my lungs felt very full.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wim Hof Method : Week One

Think I will see how posting a week goes with one entry. Some weeks have more notes so may make sense to have one post per day.

Summary: The breath holds got easier and more comfortable by the end of the week even though I had my best hold on the first day. The shower this week was only 30 seconds but I upped this amount by the second day as 30 seconds was very, very easy. Day 6 did two 1 minute dips in Atlantic Ocean (about 50 degree water) just to see what it would feel like.

'Looking in rear view mirror' (after having completed program and seeing patterns) : First round of breath holding still not all that good or comfortable even after 10 weeks. Holding breath in cold and water is very difficult. Lastly, I forgot about full submersion in Atlantic Ocean water on week one. In some ways, be immersed in cold water easier then a cold shower (when shower is below 50 degrees).

Breath holds:
Day Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
1 1.02 1.27 1.43
2 .25 .47 1.01
3 .52 1.07 1.26
4 .50 1.02 1.07
5 1.02 1.10 1.40
6 1.15 1.20 1.33
7 1.12 1.23 1.34

Day Notes
1 Felt like choking the first two rounds. Te last time felt comfortable after some initial choking impulses. Then felt like could go a long time. 30 second shower was easy.
2 Felt like I was suffocating on all breath holds. The timings above reflect that feeling. Did not feel like I could hold my breath at all.  Shower felt fine. Did for over 4 minutes and did not feel cold until 3.30 minutes. 
3 Shower at home much colder then where I took shower the first two days. Still did about 50 seconds. Breath exercise much better then day 2. Last one felt at peace, calm, and in meditative state. Crown chakra was wide open.
4 1.28 in very cold shower. Felt breathing went pretty good. Felt relaxed when breathing. Felt very comfortable during first 40 seconds of breath hold
5 1.55 in shower (very cold water but did not measure temp yet). Head and side felt good with cold water.  On first breath hold saw lights on bottom of eyes. Felt relaxed.
6 Let's see how week two goes but when breathing outside (40s to 50s for temp) stuck in the mid minutes range for max hold.  Did two 1 minute sessions in atlantic ocean in NH seacoast (Hampton, NH). Temp of water is 50 or below this time of year.
7 First round of breathing feels more like a warm up round, and does not feel comfortable. Did outside on the roof so cold impacts the breath hold.

Saturday, March 19th

Three of us sent today; Christine, Bob and myself.   It was a sunny 33 degrees with a wind chill of about 28.  The water felt colder then 39 degrees today as it was high tide at the 101 bridge spot in Hampton. We are starting to take more vital signs to see the impact on blood pressure and heart rate. Here were the read outs for me:
1. At home before leaving : BP - 145/82, HR - 54
2. At spot outside before going in : BP - 152/109,  HR - 80 (Your body seems to be anticipating the cold water)
3. Right after swim : BP - 168/116, HR - 89 (Not much different then when going into water)
4. After hot tub : BP - 123/91, HR - 82 (Hot tub seems to get the HR going)

Bob and Christine did a bit over 4 and I did 6 give the last two days of 10 minutes and the cold water today felt like taking it easy.

I also did a 45 minute bare chested (no gloves or hat) run in 34 degree (feels like 29) weather along the ocean.

Here is proof (Christine getting ready for swim) that we actually went out today: 

Cold Immersion inspired poem to boys done

Usually get these poems done for Valentine's Day...a bit late this year.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday March 18th

Had a good turn out. Christopher Banks was on camera and Bob Kerens and I in the water along with three young men and Megan Sharples testing the waters. Bob went a good 7 minutes with me exiting at 10. Had 94.3 body temp after swim. The young men came back out a second time in did full immersion. Video here:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 17th : Saint Patrick's Day Swim

Alright, thought I had 3 fellow swimmers but ended up with none. Maybe the beer and cabbage soup was more appealing. There was a threat of thunderstorms but ended up being none.  Did a 10 minute dip into 39 degree water with air at around 50.  Did feel very good today.  Did four rounds to breathing with breath holds of 40, 40, 30 and 20.  I have not tried this many breath holds and have to say it was difficult holding my breath for any length of time while in the 39 degree water.  You definitely want to breath heavily.  I did breath holds of 1.10,  1.30, 1.50 and 1.55 before going in the water.   Slade did the video today:

Wednesday March 16th

Great turn out with 3 of the 'regulars' (Bob, Christine, and myself), a newbie (Megan), and Kate (Dave and Megan's daughter).  Megan really enjoyed it and felt the power!  She did some serious breathing. Perhaps, I bit too much on the exhale (hyperventilating) side of the house.  Video can be found here:

We did anywhere between 1.20 to 9 minutes today. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday March 15th

No swim in the ocean but a 10k run in rain at about 32 degrees with wind chill and winds at 15 MPH with gusts to 24 making it a slow run.  Breath holds:
1. 1.08
2. 1.35
3. 1.45
4. 1.50

Did 10 minutes 'horse stance' and 1/2 hour meditation.  Of course, run with no hat, gloves, or shirt.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday March 14th

Did an 8 minute swim in Seabrook Harbor.  Air was about 32 with wind chill so a bit cool on the head. Water temp at 39.

Wednesday March 9th : Prague

This was first day post completion of the 10 week Wim Hof Method program.  Here are the stats:
1. 1.20 
2. 1.50
3. 2.15
4. 2.25 
on breath holds.  Did 40 push ups.

6 minute cold shower first thing in morning.

Saturday March 12th

No video today. Did an 8 minute swim in ocean. Not sure of air temp but water temp still at 39 degrees.

Friday March 11th : Seacoast Wimmers

Great to feel the power again after 5 days off with trip to Prague. 7 minutes felt reviving and focused. 42 air temp was welcoming with 39 water temp.

Breath holds before swim here:
1. 1.10
2. 1.40
3. 2.01
4. 1.45

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday March 13 : Seacoast Wimmers

Going in reverse order here and posting today's video.  We had a group of about 12 people. Christine, Bob, Dave and I enjoyed the water, and some of the kids joined in.  It was Christine's inaugural swim and she was in for a good 4 minutes I believe.  An awesome first day and great to have our first female NH Seacoast Wimmer! As you can hear in the video, Bob did some expert coaching.  Dave of course pushed it to 10 minutes after not being in for a couple of weeks.  'Cabbage Bob' stayed in for a good 5 minutes but after not eating much for some days now did not want to push it.  It was a in the high 50's but the water still around 39 degrees.  I clocked out at a little over 11 minutes. We all felt the power, and are making America great again one swim at a time; thinking globally and acting locally. 

The video:

Not sure why it did not go full screen. I uploaded from phone so could be the issue.

Day 0 - December 2016

I started the Wim Hof Method in December 2015 and completed it last week (March 13th, 2016).  Took me a bit longer then 10 weeks has had a few days missed because of work and a couple of week Christmas vacation in warm weather with my boys.  

This is the first blog posts. I will chronicle my journey on a week by week, or perhaps day by day as have a lot of notes,  basis with details as I found that there were not a lot of details on what you experience and details on challenges to expect. 

I set my goals as follows:
1. Hold breath for five minutes - This as very ambitious but I read about folks doing this.  What I was actually able to achieve was 2.30 in week 4. 
2. In ocean at <40 for 10 minutes - I actually did this a few times and first did it on week 8.  Definitely, a lot of shivering and long time to get core temp back up.
3. Run with no shirt at 32 degrees for 7 miles - This was actually the easiest goal and did some 5 mile runs in the teens. 

My baseline was:
1. 1 minute 5 second breath hold
2. 21 push ups. I actually do very complete (touch my chest almost to floor and all the way up) push ups.

I do have cold feet sometimes, hate going in the 60 degree water during the summer, get distracted by web browsing at work, and sometime take melatonin to get to sleep.

I have meditated for close to 20 years, very active, and eat well. So I do understand mental focus, and what it takes to commit to something.