As mentioned in a previous post, last year I was challenged, accepted, and completed Andy Frisella’s 75 Hard program.

This program on its face appears to be about losing weight, but as Frisella explains is really about helping to adapt one’s mindset.

Tasks include: 2 – 45 minute workouts each day one of which must be outside; adherence to a diet of one’s choice without cheating; refraining from any alcohol consumption; drinking a gallon of water each day; reading at least 10 pages each day of a non-fiction, self improvement book; and taking a progress picture each day over the course of 75 days.

Any day that you miss a step is a day that you go back and start from scratch.

I got to within a week of this program and came down with a nasty cold right around Christmas when they had that snowstorm that made Seattle look and feel like Minneapolis for a week.

Did I quit? Well, I certainly thought I was going to. But, I told my immediate report at LA Fitness – Tyler – that it was too bad that I had gotten sick.

And he told me: “You can’t quit!”

He was willing to allow me to take some time off to rest up instead of plowing through work (and potentially giving others COVID assuming that is what I actually had), but he encouraged me to keep going. And so, I did!

And I am happy that I did.

I’ve found that there are a lot of people that have gotten all jazzed up about this program, start it for awhile and then fall off.

Ok, so far so good. But, Frisella finds that this is only the beginning stage of his program.

The first 75 days are kind of a boot camp to get ready for the subsequent phases (for which I believe there are 4 in total.)

Well, during the holiday season I came down with gout – a very painful health issue that usually manifests as arthritic pain in the joints -particularly down at the joint just below one’s big toe(s).

Gout is caused by having elevated uric acid levels which “crystalize” in the joints. Believe me: It’s “ouchy!!!”

Since, I was recovering from my cold and now had an issue with my left foot too, I got out of the habit of going on my outdoor walk to fulfil the workout requirement.

So, it took me quite awhile to get going again on the first phase of 75 Hard.

And the tasks that we need to do at this phase are all of the past tasks plus a daily 10-minute visualization; completion of one’s “8 Power List Critical Tasks” (comprising tasks that one generally wants to habituate), and a 5 minute cold shower.

Now, I have found that it has been extremely tough to identify and complete these “8 Power List Critical Tasks.”

At first, I thought I needed to make a list of 8 things I wanted to accomplish in the day and then go ahead and do them.

And so, I put down a lot as a lot of tasks things that I wanted to do as a completed task like “write a blog post.”

Now, writing a blog post is great, but it does take some time. I’m finding that I am settling in to this as about a 40 minute task.

So think what happens when you have a list of things that each take at least a 1/2 hour?

That’s right! You can finish your list for the first few days, by depriving yourself of sleep.

But, after awhile it catches up and I was failing to perform.

The upshot is that I have had multiple “start-overs.”

Now, in that I take my showers in the morning and each day is a new day when I seek to succeed, I’ve had the opportunity to take quite a few cold showers.

And a 5 minute cold shower is certainly not a quicky!

I set my timer for 5 minutes and 10 seconds, tap it and pull the cold shower on right off the bat.

The water is cold, and as it goes it gets colder.

I first wash my hair and just leave the shampoo in and then grab the soap going from head to toe.

In fact, I try to spend some extra time clean between my toes because it’s good to have something to focus on besides the cold water.

Then I rinse off by putting my head under the stream for awhile coming out and brushing the suds down and again and again in an effort to “burn” a few more seconds and to keep my head from freezing.

Ultimately, I have nothing more to rinse off and I might still have up to 2 minutes to go.

So, what do I do? Breathing exercises while the cold water beats down on front before turning around and taking the cold on my neck and back.

Today, I was able to push this up to a slow count of 15!

When the timer goes off, I am over to it right away. I wouldn’t want my wife to get aggravated by its incessant noise right?

What I have found is that a cold shower helps a lot to get me up in the morning.

There are a number of other benefits that apparently are occurring too like aiding weight loss and boosting my immunity.

That is awesome!

But, one extra benefit is that this practice reduces one’s uric acid level.

And remember, a high uric acid levels are what caused that damnable gout!

So, 5 minutes of a “painful” cold shower can prevent an incredibly painful gout attack?

Well then, I don’t care if I fail my phase I of 75 Hard a thousand times…

I’m going to keep taking my cold showers!