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THE Lowly Peon


Taking the Plunge 
16 May 2010, 12:59pm

For those of you with cold feet, daisy and I found a solution this past week at the Grand Hyatt in Guangzhou.

For those of you who haven't ever been to a Grand Hyatt before, I highly recommend it. I especially recommend it if your business is paying, you have a platinum membership, and you tend to have more expensive tastes than you could otherwise afford.

After a long week, daisy and I decided to celebrate the conclusion of a successful trip by taking it easy around the hotel. We got some sushi nearby, for the sole reason that it was close by and we wanted to avoid, at all cost, getting into another Guangzhou taxi. Afterwards, we went for a swim. And at Hyatt pools, half of the reason to go swimming is simply because the facilities are awesome.

We checked in, and instead of the usual getting lost on the way to the locker room (and who doesn't get lost in the locker room looking for the pool), a guy and a girl came to escort us each and show us around. Changed, and went into the pool.

The main pool was way more crowded than any place I'd usually go to, but I was not disappointed — there were three pools. I was pretty full and thus not interested in the hot tub / jacuzzi / lounge chairs under water with jets that Mike McLeod would die for. Instead, I went first for a dip in the normal pool, but left because it was too full of people. I went to check out the other pool which seemed to be full of nuclear waste — or at least I couldn't figure out why no one was anywhere near it.

I read the sign, which said clearly:

"Cold Plunge:

Do not plunge more than 3 times, and do not spend more than 3 consecutive minutes in the water each time."


Followed by all the other warnings you'll see at any pool (booze, pregnant women, children, open wounds, etc).

I dipped my toe in, confused as hell as to why anyone would have a pool called a "cold plunge". It was freezing. Like colder than Lake Michigan in February. I asked the guy how cold it was and he said 12 degrees (roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit). For those of you who are < title="National Association of Underwater Instructors" href="http://www.naui.org/">NAUI certified, you know that water absorbs your heat 25-30 times faster than air. Which means 12 degrees feels more like you're in an ice bucket.

According to the Outdoor Swimming Society, at this temperature:

Jumping in likely to impair breathing in the uninitiated, as breath comes in big jolting grasps and it feels like someone has clamped on an ice neck brace. [...] Limbs soon become weak and only takes a minute or two at the lower end of temperatures before skin becomes a lurid purple-orange-red when you exit.


So naturally I jumped in.

It took me about half a second to get the hell out of the pool and run around like a fool. But then a few minutes later, I felt unbelievably awake, clear, energized. So I went back in, this time staying for a bit longer. A few minutes later, went in again.

I know I've said this before, and I know I'll change my mind sooner than later, but I'm going to try to start taking really cold showers. I've been taking pretty cold ones these days anyway, for the same reasons, but wow did this "cold plunge" feel amazing.

I can't wait to go back to Guangzhou next week and do it again!

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comments

Will

[16 May 2010]

You should try immersing yourself in the North Sea. At any point of the year. That's a hypothermia case waiting to unfold.

 

Benji!

[16 May 2010]

You've convinced me Peter! I'm going to start taking cold showers again!

 

THE Lowly Peon

[17 May 2010]

bentomas: alright! let's do it!

 

Saulemander

[17 May 2010]

i'll stick with my hot showers...especially since SF is a poop* hole..and always cold