Two areas of physical capacity that are often ignored are the ability to move in water and the ability to deal with extreme temperatures.
If you don’t learn to swim early you can develop a strong fear of the potential for drowning. Even if you learn to swim, but don’t learn deep diving and apnea, you’re missing out a great deal on the your potential as human mover.
This time of year here in the northwest is not a time most people think about swimming. But its been on my mind lately. One can swim in cold weather, but you must be willing to pay the costs and submit to the discipline of developing your capacity to swim in the cold.
In 2010 and 2011 I swam every month of the year and often found myself alone under beautiful skies, swimming with geese and swans as my only companions. The willingness to swim in cold water, I believe, helped me recover from a torn achilles fast enough to compete in ninja warrior 9 months later.
There is more to your physical capacity then just the ability of your muscles to produce force, or even our nervous system to coordinate beautiful movement. We have the capacity to adapt in many directions, and one of them is thermoregulation. Just as sedentary lives atrophy our muscles through lack of movement, so too does living in climate controlled conditions and high tech clothing all the time atrophy our capacity for thermoregulation. Just as muscular strength is associated with many different health markers, it appears that developing robust thermoregulation improves overall health.
Rannoch Donald of earth strength recently highlighted the practice of cold dowsing http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/rnd-kids-cold-water-and-the-art-of/ and it’s worth a read
For inspiration today watch this amazing video of free diver Guillaume Nery
and this one of ice man wim hoff
Your challenge is get some swimming and or cold water exposure in.