Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cold Shower Challenge progress report

Day 1: WHAT THE F WAS I THINKING?!?!?  OH HELP ME OPRAH WINFREY!!! But I made it through 5+ minutes.
Day 2: This is stupid! This is Stupid! Joel Runyon is stupid, why did I ever listen to him? Oh yeah…  And yes, body parts will indeed get numb when subjected to very cold water for extended periods of time. Shrinkage, talk about shrinkage!
Day 3: These are the fastest showers I’ve ever taken. In fact, I often have to stand in the water for over a minute just to complete the full 5 minutes.
Day 4: Yes, the cold water does indeed take your breath away. But hold still, relax into it and all is good. However, as soon as you move the process starts all over. Loose your breath, hold still, breathe, move.
Day 5: If I stand for more than 20 seconds with the water hitting my chest, arms or legs I slowly adjust to the water. If I stand for more then 20 seconds with the water hitting my back, it starts to sting almost as much as when I got my tattoo. I don’t know why. Hit the stopwatch function instead of the timer and spend over 7 minutes freezing.
Day 6: Now *THAT’S* a party! Yeah! Again, I missed the timer function and instead hit stopwatch function and spent 8+ minutes in frigid waters.
Not that I’m starting to enjoy these. Frigid cold water is still frigid cold water and man built fire for a reason. But it’s starting to change the mindset about it. Instead of dreading the experience I now know that I will get through it just fine. Like any other change in life.
While changing my mindset has made taking the cold showers a bit easier, the raising money for Ghost Rider Foundation hasn’t. Please, these folks are working extremely hard to get some of this country’s Veterans back on their feet. Let’s give a few bucks to allow them to continue this mission. Please go to and make a contribution.
As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The freezing cold shower challenge

After a hard bike ride or first thing in the morning I, like about 98% of the people, like to take a hot shower. Or bath. Something that gets me clean. Jumping into a cold shower doesn't seem like fun but I'm prepared to do that all month - for a full 30 days.

Why? Why in the hell would I willingly subject myself to that?

Here's why: Joel Runyon kept bugging people to take the 30 day cold shower therapy. Read's Joel's post about it but the summary is that you CAN do it. And once you realize you can do it repeatedly you'll realize you have the fortitude for other big changes in your life.

Good idea. But Joel, as of late, has been relentless. He continues to challenge anyone and everyone to take cold showers for 30 days. Not luke-warm showers. Not sorta-kinda-cold showers. No. All out, no hot water allowed cold showers of at least 5 minutes for 30 days.

So I decided to take his challenge and make it into another challenge. I'll do it. 30 days of freezing my various sundried body parts off. BUT here's the challenge. I want you to contribute to the GhostRider Foundation. Please, please please read more about it here. The long and short of the GhostRider foundation is they help returning Vets with PTSD. Just make a donation regardless of the amount. Tell your friends and neighbors. Enough people contribute, no matter what the amount, and I'm set to freeze. Hell, enough people contribute and I'll keep it up for 60 days. Just leave a reply here or shoot me an email or tweet (@grog_jd) when you make your contribution  because I am not affiliated with the GRF and I don't see when the contributions are made.

The question now is how bad do you want me to freeze? How long? Better yet, how interested are you in helping our Veterans out?

Starts.... NOW!

Monday, April 1, 2013

How I can tell if you're a friend or not when you come to our house

The one thing that seemed to stick in my mind lately is how our neighbors and I live in  this town. It's a bit different. Not like it's invaded by zombies or anything like that. Not like nobody talks to their neighbors. Far from it. It just seems like most people around here don't really use the front door.

I guess it's because every one's driveway goes to the alley in back and people normally park towards the back of their house. Or maybe because this little town we live in now has alleys and all the places I lived before didn't. It's not something I can really put my finger on. And it's not everybody.

When some good friends (Joel, Richie and James) came over last week for our inaugural Beer Run Ride (23 or so miles, stop at the awesome Rockmill Brewery, then go ride our bikes some more) everyone naturally parked in the back of our drive just past the back door. We unloaded, chatted a bit and then took off. When we got back, the guys had to leave but it just seemed to generate the thought in my head. Our friends all come to the back door at our house and a lot of our neighbors are the same.

With some of the houses, coming to the front door seems formal. That's for delivery drivers and door-to-door stuff. If you come over and head to the back yard then you must be a friend. It means you know us. You know the dogs (and aren't scared of them). You're ready to find me in the bike shed or sit by the fire (if you come over in the evening) and have a drink of your preference. It's the same around the town. Our friend across the alley would sit out in the back yard as soon as the weather is warm enough and when we'd get home on a Friday he'd encourage us over and always have a drink to put in our hand. If we head north down the alley there's the guys out behind the auto repair shop who, after hours, are out shooting the breeze and they're always open and gregarious. During the Old Timer's Festival we go and watch the old time baseball game from the garage on the alley of other friends.

Not all the houses are setup for this sort of interaction but it just seemed to highlight to me how we live and setup our living spaces. So when you come to our house I'll know how to treat you depending on what door I hear you knock at.