(Blog written last November 2022 by the author)
I’ve been in a slump.
First of all, I managed to burpee myself into injury and so had to switch from running to swimming. Secondly, work had been dropping bricks on me, hailing projectiles of emails and meetings over my weeks. And lastly, as a stress combatant, I’d overdone it on all the articles swept under the rug of the “social aspect of my life.” I’d been staying out too late, drinking far (far!) too much, and—although I’d managed to keep training well—had been doing an overall terrible job of maintaining the base of health I’ve worked hard to build for myself.
Though I’ve advocated for a ”small tweak” methodology to improving your life and your training, imploring you that a gentle run once a week is the first step to your first race, I’m the sort of guy that needs a real nail in my foot ala A Quiet Place to make a big change.
I needed a frigid, slap-across-the-cheek, reset.
How about, standing in a box frozen down to -110 degrees Celsius for three-and-a-half-minutes? So I began to wonder after a chat with the good folks at RUNNR. They’d prompted me to try out FrozFit, a whole body cryotherapy clinic in Quezon City.
I hadn’t a clue what that sort of temperature even felt like. Though I’ve experienced the relative mild winter of Australia, the idea of the opposite of boiling point and a bit less (this isn’t scientifically accurate) wasn’t something I could imagine. I didn’t imagine it to be painful, nor itchy; I was trying to construct an image for something I didn’t know, like trying to imagine a brand new color into existence.
So what the hell, I thought. If anything is going to get me out of my whisky-drowned, messed-up hip, tired slump, it’s going to be standing in a metal box with my ass half out and my nipples as hard as diamonds breathing into a brand new color of experience.
But of course, I did some research on cryotherapy first.
If someone told you to step into a box, you’d ask why right?
The idea of cryotherapy wasn’t completely new to me. I had watched The Try Guys shiver, scream, and make genuine nuts of themselves in a cryotherapy chamber (pre-drama that is). I was aware that many athletes find aid in dunking themselves in bathtubs of ice. And I think I heard somewhere that an ice bath to the face was an effective remedy for a hangover—one of the very few I’d forgotten to try.
I’ll let FrozFit take the wheel here as I run through the benefits of cryotherapy. Among the many benefits of the frozen service chucked around the internet, cryotherapy helps with the following: reducing muscle inflammation, relieving muscle pain, speeding up healing, reducing anxiety, treating migraines, improving blood flow, tightening skin, stimulating collagen production, and improving metabolism.
These are the sorts of benefits the people behind FrozFit wanted to bring to market when they opened shop in December of 2020. At the MEDICA Trade Fair in Germany, the proprietors chanced upon the opportunity to be an early mover in this icy space—to be providers of high quality recovery and pain management services in The Philippines without the use of nitrogen.
Many other cryotherapy facilities around the world use nitrogen for the whole body cryotherapy experience. But this has its dangers. We’re talking serious ailments like oxygen deficiency, lung damage, cold burns—nasty stuff. At bottom, the proposition of FrozFit is all the benefits of cryotherapy sans the risks.
But yeah, you’ll freeze your ass off
I don’t know how to sugar coat that.
You pass through three chambers. The first is a -10 degree Celsius unit, probably the harshest blast of cold air in my experience—you don’t expect to ever be that cold in the tropics. Chamber 2 hosted my very first encounter with an extreme experience: a frosty -60 degrees Celsius.
But the real take home story began as I entered Chamber 3, -100 degrees Celsius.
The initial waft of air had me suddenly aware of my existence as a mass of individual molecules. Each and every spec of me began wilting like grapes suddenly deflating into raisins. Every pore, wrinkle, and follicle on my body began trying to dig beneath my skin, trying to use the whole of my outermost layer as some sort of pathetic blanket.
I was tingly, mesmerized in the novelty of this new color.
But my heart was racing. Almost as though I was in fight-or-flight mode, but not in a scary sort of way. It was a rush. It was as though I were James Bond in Never Say Never Again; however, I was actually there for a real health benefit and wasn’t about to brawl in a weights room.
At three or so minutes in, I began asking myself why in the world I’d asked Beef, one of the proprietors, to give me a chance at acclaim by allowing me to freeze in the chamber for four minutes rather than the prescribed three-and-a-half. I’d pace around the room, stretch a little, smile outside to Beef, flash a thumbs-up though my thick, wooly, mittens, and then dart my eyes back to the timer.
After four minutes, I was delighted to be back in the tropics
And was surging with adrenaline. Blood was once again thumping out of my center and back into my appendages; I was once again a grape. It’s incredible to think that the last series of events had transpired over the course of just four minutes.
I felt as though I’d just done something epic—faced a brush with something dangerous, climbed a mountain, nailed a kickflip off a roof and into a pool. That sort of thing but in a very safe, holistically designed, and comfortable environment. Jumping this story ahead, my legs going into the following week of training were fresher than usual, my run effort more efficient. This experience would prove to be successful from an athletic standpoint.
But at the very point of me stepping out of the chamber trying to string stutters into real, human sentences, I was absorbed primarily in a rush. If my face weren’t frozen in place, I’d have been smiling from ear to ear. This was to be my grand reset: my return to running, my calming down, my first step to being healthier. Perhaps in the overarching theme of the small story that is my
In my opinion, this would be a fantastic service to consider for athletes that experience serious and lasting muscle soreness, those that have chronic pains, or as an occasional reset button (just like me). And for those that are intent on adding another color to their lives, let me go ahead and say this might just be it.
Feeling sore from a recent race? Checkout Frozfit to properly recover and get back on track with runnr! visit your nearest store or head over to runnr.com.ph, for your much-needed running essentials! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well as join our VIBER Community, to stay up-to-date with all the latest on anything and everything runnr, the leading running specialty store in the Philippines. Happy running!