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I hate the cold! I live in a hot Mediterranean island, so the sea is relatively warm even in winter. Yet,  you only MIGHT catch me swimming in the hot months of July and August. I’ll still complain when the water hits anywhere above the knees.

My husband is the opposite, He swims in the sea all year round, and swears by the rush of endorphins it gives him. According to him, swimming, especially in the cold months, is vital to his physical and mental wellbeing. 

Well, he is right and this is backed extensively by empirical & scientific research.

So, knowing that something as simple as a cold shower can yield so many benefits and yet not having the courage to do it – well, it had been irking me for a while. 

So I pushed myself & booked us both at a Wim Hof Fundamentals Workshop. In Malta the only instructor certified to run this workshop is Pavla Borg. It’s thanks to her that I am smiling whilst suffering in this photo. 

The workshop tackles the three pillars that the Wim Hof method is based upon: Breathing techniques, Cold Therapy and Commitment. The breathing was a cathartic experience. It was more hard work than I imagined, but Pavla’s guidance, together with the ambience in the cave, the music and overall energy from the group made for a memorable experience. It was a strong emotional release for me. Different people experience this in different ways. 

Pavla explained how through our breathing we can control so much in our body. The breathing technique is very helpful when doing cold therapy as it prepares the mind and the body for what’s to come. 

The Ice Bath: the preparation & run up to it by Pavla was very useful and supported me to gradually set my mindset to  step foot in the bath.
 
Her guidance was very clear and she gave all of us individual attention. I felt that she was very intuitive in the prompts she gave me whilst I was in the bath. Her prompts and words of encouragement were just what I needed to hear to carry me through the 2 minutes sitting in ice cold water.
 
Was it worth it? Hell yes! Afterwards I felt calm, relaxed and yet ready to take on the world. Do I like the cold now? Absolutely no and probably never will. I’ve promised myself though, to continue with the cold showers, the breathing & hopefully dipping in the sea throughout winter. The ‘Why’ for doing this outweighs the temporary pain for me. 

If you’re sitting on the fence about this, I’d say try it. The worse that can happen is that you won’t want to do it again. The best case scenario is that you discover a whole new toolkit on managing your wellbeing. 

If you’re in Malta, Pavla is the only certifiied Wim Hof instructor. Here’s her Instructor Profile: