Message from the Mountain 004


One month into 2024, how are you going with your new year targets? It’s a strange thing for me, as every day is a new day, so why wait until a specific date or time to make changes.

That said, moving into 2024, my morning routine has changed a little, all in the name of building my personal calluses, and improving my resilience.

There are many ways to start the day, and lying in bed next to Sam, with the dogs by our side, always is appealing. However, after 8 hours of deep restorative sleep (for the dogs that is), come 5 am, their internal alarm goes off, and despite our best efforts to pretend to be asleep, Musky is a dab hand at wake-up-by-1000-kisses, it’s time to face the day.

Once the point of no return is reached, generally with the 2 dogs continually rooting us out of bed with their noses, teeth and paws, we are up and ready to face the new daily challenges. I mentioned last time of our morning ‘dopamine hill’ challenge, well we added to that at the beginning of 2024, by finishing part 1 of the daily challenge, by plunging in 3 degrees of water for 6 minutes.

After a walk up the hill, it’s an immense shock to jump into the ice bath, knowing for the first 30 - 45 seconds, all I want to do is get out! In fact, even before getting in, I want to get out! But, resilience comes from doing things that you don’t want to do in the moment, yet you know long term is beneficial.

So, long before 7am, both Sam and I are in that bath, focusing on our breathing, running self-help mantras. One of my favourite ways to begin this process is to channel my inner Ronnie Coleman, screaming “light weight baby” or “yeah buddy” as I step off, and step in. Then for the next minute, as the cold pierces my hands and feet, not to mention my reproductive devises (all 3 bits), I remember the mantra Will Burnett used to deal with the pain and discomfort he faced whilst breaking the World Record to run across Australia:

“I am not my mind, I am not my body”. 

Listening to Ant Middleton’s Mind over Muscle audio book, he shares a similar view, in that by training the mind, the body follows. Once the body-mind is settled, it’s then a 5 minute pleasure, to focus on the breath and feel the discomfort float away. Yes it’s bloody cold, but somehow, it’s bliss. The sadness comes when the 6 minute alarm sounds, as once in, I am sure I could stay longer. However, sometimes curbing that ego is important, as I want my body to be maximally healthy, not overly stressed by seeing just how long I can last.

So after less than a month, I find myself looking forward to the discomfort, enjoying the fact that I know my health is improving with every second I am immersed. Knowing at the end of the 6 minutes (which I believe is the optimum) it’s time to thank myself for sticking with it, and then enjoying all the benefits of the cold plunge.

Shouting “yeah buddy” as I exit, I am sure the dogs think I am crazy! And truth be told I am – crazy to explore everything I can that will make me the best version of myself.

I am no cold water therapy expert, but the change in my mindset by this one act, for this short time frame, has been immense. To know, in some small way, that I can control my thoughts, I can direct my mind, and I can endure, helps me practice, so that if anything does come into my life which I hadn’t expected, I know, I have the skills to deal with it.

As with everything we do, it’s most important you find what works for you, as no one knows you like you know yourself. Do your research, test for yourself, and measure the personal outcomes.

After a month, my body is less sore, more recovered, and dopamine hill doesn’t worry me as much as it did.

We would love to hear what your 2024 changes, and daily challenges to self are, so drop us a line, as we grow as a community together.


Shaun, Co-Founder

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