It always hurts the most in the beginning.

You may not be able to see it in this photo, but my skin is red.

It’s red because when you shower under freezing cold water, your skin stings … and it turns red.

I force myself to take a freezing cold shower at least 3x per week.

It’s one of my least favorite weekly tasks.

The first few seconds that freezing water hits your head and rolls down your shoulders, it literally takes your breath away.

You’re left gasping.

Everything inside you says turn the hot water on, warm me up, please, end this suffering.

BUT, if you stick with it long enough, which is really only about 10 seconds, you start to adjust.

You catch your breath.

You calm your mind and realize you can handle this discomfort.

By the end of the shower, you’re on a high – your immune system is strengthened and you become more resistant to illness.

Those are the physical rewards (there are others too ~ do some research).

The best reward is mental toughness.

You prove to yourself that you can handle things that hurt, that you can force yourself through the pain ~ this kind of self-imposed grit and determination will take you far in many areas of your life.

There’s really nothing like it.

And just think, had you given up within the first few seconds because you didn’t like how things felt (being really, really cold sucks, I get it!), you’d have robbed yourself of the benefits you now get to experience.

So, the next time something is making you uncomfortable, or something hurts, or you can’t see the finish line and you want to give up, remind yourself …

It always hurts the most in the beginning.

But, if you have enough mental fortitude to see it through, you future self will thank you.

I’ll see you on the battlefield.