Olympic boxer Harry Garside – Australia’s first medal winner in boxing – has shared the processes he puts his body through to allow him to continue competing at the top of his game.
Harry Garside, the Australian boxer from Ferntree Gully, Victoria, has always openly admitted how he isn’t the most traditionally ‘masculine’ of men, especially compared to his peers in the sport of boxing. He happily wears women’s clothes, paints his nails and practices ballet.
But doing these things helps him maintain a positive mindset and with boxing being as much a mental sport as it is physical, we certainly encourage him to keep doing what makes him happy. To that point, Harry Garside has recently shared on his Instagram account about how he puts his body through cold water therapy to ensure he is still able to compete at a high level a decade from now.
Captioning an image of himself standing under a shower (and with nails painted), Harry begins by relaying a conversation someone else has said to him,
“Why? Why do this? It means nothing. It won’t help you. No one will know if you don’t do it. You’ve already trained. You’ve done it for 6 months. Just have a warm shower.”
“F**k no. I choose discomfort. I choose numbness. I choose cold. I choose cold at 5 am in winter. You want to know why? Because I choose me in 10 years.”
The post has received thousands of likes and hundreds of comments, all in support of Harry’s words. In amongst the numerous fire and hand clapping emoji, are comments speaking to the benefits of the cold for your mental health.
“Fck that, I hate the cold, but good on you brother, do what you think’s good for your mental health,”
“Pick discomfort everyday, that’s where you grow. Love this brother.”
“Started doing this and never felt better.”
We’ve spoken about the benefits of cold water and practices such as the Wim Hof method here at DMARGE before. And, while there are some inherent risks to cold water therapy, it could also be seen as being key for true happiness.
There’s no shortage of celebrities who use the cold as either a means of recovery or to improve their mental health. Whether they’re taking ice baths or stepping into cryotherapy chambers, there’s clearly much to be said of how much of a benefit the cold can have on us.
Andrew Huberman American neuroscientist and associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and host of the Huberman Lab podcast, discussed the mental and physical benefits of deliberate cold exposure in an episode of his podcast earlier in 2022.
He says that there are cold protocols that have been designed to “improve mental performance and things like resilience or your grittiness or your ability to move through a challenge. They’re designed to help you regulate your mind and your internal state under conditions of stress.”
He also discusses the effect different forms of cold exposure can have on your body, comparing cold showers against cold water immersion (where your body is submerged up to the neck) and cryo chambers.
Huberman states that “cold water immersion is going to be the most effective. Second best would be a cold shower. Third best would be to go outside with a minimal amount of clothing that would you allow you to experience cold to the point where you would start shivering.”
Judging by Harry Garside’s image alone, it would appear he uses cold showers as his protocol, although we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that as a boxer, he would have access to something such as an ice bath.
Yet more proof that you should embrace the cold and not fear it, for a healthier state of mind.