Cold Water

When I was 14, we played with a big group of kids during a party at my neighbor’s house. It was spring and not too warm yet, but after running around outside, playing soccer, and trading Yu-Gi-Oh! cards for a while, we still ended up sweaty and thirsty. After we went back into the house, a bunch of us queued at the guest toilet, and for some reason, I’ll never forget what one of the guys said as he dug his hands into the sink and splashed water on his face: “I love cold water like this! So refreshing!”

For my entire life up to that point, I, like most people, used to shy away from cold water. But after that moment, I never looked at it the same way again. Seeing someone so honestly excited about splashing ice-cold water on their face on a 15-Celsius day in April changed my perspective forever. It’s as if, before, I was completely zoned in on the negatives of coming in contact with cold water, and now, every time I imagined it, I saw that guy having the time of his life in that tiny guest bathroom sink.

“Cold water is refreshing. It’ll get your blood flowing. It cleans away the dirt. It awakens and re-centers you.” These are the kinds of things my mind now tells me whenever I approach the tap in the morning — and most days, I end up splashing cold water on my face. It has become a morning ritual akin to folks dipping into the river back in the day. “They, too, had to make do with cold water! It was good for them! There’s nothing to whine about here.” Yeah yeah, alright, calm down.

My perspective on cold water changed so much, at one point, I took cold showers for 365 days in a row. 13-year-old me wouldn’t have believed he could survive that. 23-year-old me thought it was a great idea, and he learned a bunch of lessons along the way. Nowadays, I still occasionally turn the knob to cold, and I sometimes randomly wash my face with cold water in the afternoon, just to refresh my mind and reset my perspective.

The point is that for one, a dash of cold water can go a long way — from the tiny courage and confidence boost to improved blood flow to a moment of reflection amidst a busy day — and for another, small moments can lead to big changes. Someone flicks a tiny spark at you, and if the stars align and your mind is open, your entire soul will be set aflame — and the afterglow might last forever.

When you feel stumped, tired, or confused, try cold water. I love it. So refreshing!