Wim Hoff’s Ten-Week Program: Whys and Whats.
I had been watching Wim Hoff and his “movement” for a year or more before he rolled out his on-line course. Frankly, I had been suspicious of the whole thing, partly because of the very enthusiastic nature of many of the participants —it had a kind of cultish feel, and the promises made were, I felt, immodest.
In addition to this, many of the actual feats that Wim had achieved — climbing Everest in a pair of shorts, staying immersed in ice for two hours, running the Mojave with no water, etc., seemed kind of like circus acts, freak show items that probably didn’t have to do with sustainable human health and well-being. Also, I suspected deep down that this thing so many people are doing — looking for immortality, endless improvement — is misguided, possibly manic, and ill-advised. Although I kind of do it too.
Part of what was appealing, admittedly, was the challenge: Most of human history has been a catalogue of ways in which we humans innovate to make our lives easier. Creatures are all creatures of comfort. The snag has usually been that comfort is not a limitless commodity. There are only so many hours of sunshine to bask in; one only finds a bees’ nest full of honey occassionally. But for us Westerners — and many Easterners and Southerners today as well — life is easier than it has ever been. Having to brave the elements has become a matter of choice, not necessity. We have heaters, everywhere, clothes, chairs, remotes. You get the picture. And wonderful tho’ these things are, they do make us soft. But the specifics of this softness of ours is important; they actually make us sick, eroding our ability to function as we have evolved to function. Our metabolism should fire up to keep us warm, instead of our house’s furnace. Our glutes and ham strings should bear the weight of us squatting, strengthening them, instead of relying on the sofa to catch us as we back up to it and fall. Being outdoors for hours, our eyes should be constantly flexing between long and short distances, instead of becoming increasingly myopic within the walls of our cubicle.
So a little hardship? In the cause of regaining a little of our ancestral physiology? OK.
I latched onto Wim’s assertion that what he was doing was affecting the autonomic nervous system, and the immune system — bulletproofing it, in fact was how he…