Every morning for the last two weeks I’ve been getting up and taking a cold shower. It’s awful. But I thought I was getting the hang of it until my landlady installed a new shower head that makes it even harder. My old crappy shower head was adjustable so I could retreat back from the cold water if I needed to, and now there’s nowhere to hide.
Unfortunately, I like that even more. I’ve been trying to do this thing sort of like the opposite day episode of Seinfeld. In that episode George Costanza, reasoning that every decision he has ever made is wrong, decides to go out and do the exact opposite of whatever he would normally do. This leads him on an odd adventure where he inadvertently turns into an awesome guy who gets his dream job on the Yankees.
So, I don’t want to take a cold shower (and I never had before) so now I take cold showers. It’s rough, and every morning it’s a struggle, but there are supposedly health benefits that come with that.
This led me to signing up for a jiujitsu class. I don’t like being terrible at something, and being the worst person in a class is especially humiliating (and I hate being humiliated). So obviously this is perfect for my opposite day approach, so I signed up for it. And boy, am I the worst! Every single person in the class has 1-10 years of wrestling experience, whereas my experience can be counted in hours on one hand. I get to suck at something in front of an audience.
I also have to get right up on people and roll around with them. It’s something you would never do in almost any other situation, and something that causes me anxiety, so awesome. Even better. I was getting a man’s foot shoved in my face over and over and I realized how weird it is that there are so few opportunities to get a foot rubbed in your face in our modern society. I know that physical touch is actually quite healthy for people, and wrestling is fun, and this combines a healthy dose of both.
I think I worry the instructor sometimes because I have to stop because I’m going to throw up, or I’m clearly super uncomfortable with just free wrestling. People reassure me that if I stick with it, I’ll get better, and I try to explain to them that getting better isn’t really what I’m after, I’m after the unpleasant stuff. Like yeah it sucks, but that’s what I signed up for. Not getting good at wrestling, that’s like a byproduct.
As a result I’ve been trying to find other things I’ve been avoiding doing because they’re uncomfortable or hard. Right now that probably means I could pick up NaNoWriMo, and even more importantly: driving. Driving is like the great terror that’s haunted me for almost a decade. Seriously, I’m one of those guys who can’t drive. So that’s thing I have to do. I have to drive a car and keep driving a car until I’m not scared. Then I have to drive a stick shift and drive it till I’m not scared. Then I have to drive a big car. Then I have to drive on hills. Then I have to drive in snow. Then I have to drive on hills in snow.
The more I want to avoid it the more I have to do it. So I’ll do it. Then it’ll be over and hopefully one day I won’t be so scared anymore.