Sunday, March 3, 2013


There is something very purifying about ice baths.  I woke up with too many different things my mind and when I sat down in the cold water I noticed how everything seemed to come into focus.  I think there are two reasons: one, the sensation is so intense that it makes it hard to think about anything else.  When you first slide in there is that jolt from the sudden cold, then after a few minutes you feel your body slowing down as the temperature really starts to settle in.  Finally there is that burning sensation from the blood rushing back into your legs when you finish.

The second reason ice baths can help focus you is because the genuine discomfort forces you to ask yourself why you are doing it.  Kant called this acting against inclination, which he thought was the only situation in which you can be sure that you are doing something because you believe it is the right thing to do.  The only reason you would voluntarily dip your legs in freezing water is because you wanted to speed recovery, heal and become a better runner.  That thought process naturally leads your mind forward, to the goal, the purpose, the reward.

I've said before that ice baths were the only cure-all.  I was speaking about helping with muscle soreness, but in my experience it even has a restorative effect on the psyche.  It'is like restarting a computer, clearing the memory and beginning from scratch.

No comments:

Post a Comment