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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Mind Over Matter- Training with the IceMan

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

For years I have been fascinated by the power your mind has over your body and well-being. Until I began my teacher training and yoga studies through YogaFit, I never really put any of it into play in my own life, it was more or less just something that intrigued me.  It seemed like some kind of weird hippy vodoo stuff from the outside looking in, but after learning about breathing techniques & meditation more extensively, I started to see that there were pretty incredible things that take place in your body when you practice certain techniques.  

It's not just some crazy opinion or idea out there, it's science.

The power of your thoughts enable you to manifest some pretty incredible things.  I wholeheartedly believe that a major shift in my mindset and control over my thoughts is helping me through my recovery and symptom control of chronic lyme disease more than anything. I continuously tell myself I will not let this beat me, even though I have learned to live with pain every day of my life.  The difference is that I used to let that pain cripple me.  The more I focused on it, the more there was.  I don't let it control me anymore. 

Granted, there are still days of intense pain, exhaustion, vision problems and other various symptoms, but I've learned to not let those symptoms take over my life.  

Sometimes pushing through the pain is what helps me get out of it.  

Sometimes smiling and not acknowledging when your body is screaming, is the only way to quiet it down.

If you've been following along my journey on Facebook or Instagram these last few weeks, you may have seen me post about being a 2017 Tough Mudder Ambassador.  When I was diagnosed (again) with neurological or chronic lyme disease in 2015, my life was brought to a crippling halt.  I was learning how to control the pain enough to take a shower and just get my life back again.  Running a Mudder was out of the question, so I ate my admission ticket. But mentally, I made a promise to myself and committed to not let this thing beat me.  I would be back on the Tough Mudder course in 2016, I was sure of that.  I did end up completing the event, but it wasn't pretty that's for sure! The conditions were cold and rainy, and by mile 7 I was just laughing hysterically in pain (it's a weird thing that happens to me). But with my bestie by my side and her ever supportive husband, we made it to the finish together.   We kind of laughed and cried and said OMG why do we do these things, never again...but then next day you forget about that pain and want more of it.  

So, I made it another mental mission to not only participate in 2017 events, but to CRUSH them.  Tough Mudder Headquarters was on board with this mission of mine and appointed me as an Ambassador.  If I can beat this stupid lyme disease and push through and do this, others can do it with me.

One thing I have always struggled with is the cold, but now it seems to be more than ever. It physically makes my body just hurt so much and leaves a boulder in the pit of my stomach. So, always wanting to push through and give more energy to things I struggle with, these last few weeks I have been trying to train in the cold.  It's tough! Way tough. Mentally more than anything. It takes more time convincing myself to just get out there and DO it then it does than the actually training time out there.  I've been trying to figure out the best balance of layers, clothing choices etc.  Then I just got to thinking instead....HOW DO I JUST GET BETTER AT THIS?!  How do I tell myself I can work through this, or it's not that cold, or SOMETHING to make myself not absolutely dread the cold.  That's when I remembered about my old friend Enahm Hof. I don't think you meet people by accident, or that things happen by coincidence in this life.  I think every encounter that we have, decision we make, and people that come into our lives are all for a reason.  At the time, you just might not know what that reason is. Well, Enahm and I became friends while studying abroad together in college years ago.  We have stayed connected through social media, and I have been watching his amazing travels and world adventures throughout the years.  Coincidentally (not), Enahm's dad has come up with an INCREDIBLE method of healing and control over your body called the "Wim Hof Method" that has had scientists in disbelief for decades.  He's known as the "ICEMAN", holding over 20 Guinness World Records.  Here is the link to the Wim Hof Method if you would like to explore more about this:  I won't explain the method myself, because to be honest I don't know enough about it to do so just yet, and the video shown before will leave you with all of the information you need, and wanting more of it.  So go click the video and dig in.

I'm not sure how deep I will be diving into this method, but I will at least be starting with the 20 Day Cold Shower introduction.  Yes, I'm dying a bit on the inside because what is better than a nice warm shower in the middle of a Wisconsin Winter? Not much...nnnnnot much. But I'm all about stepping outside my comfort zone and learning to love getting uncomfortable.  It's the only way to grow and expand really, so here goes!  And the reality is, it's 15 seconds, working your way up to a minute of cold water by the final week.  I don't think committing to a minute a day of getting uncomfortable is too much to ask if it will help you in the long run, do you?  So cheers to the next 20 days of refreshing icicle mornings!   More to come about this experience I'm sure!

Cheers to Tough Mudder...and LIFE training! 

xx- Steph

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