The Wedge

I’m finishing an interesting book titled, “What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength.”

Now, if you’re looking for a spiritual book to read during Lent… this isn’t it!  In fact, there’s poor language in the book and there’s a fair share of “find your zen” type stuff sprinkled in.  But, beyond that, I really found the book interesting.

Now, as you probably guessed, the freezing water part of the title is what really drew me in since cold showers have now become a part of my normal life as a result of the Exodus 90 program.

I’ve written about the benefits of cold water before and how it’s scientifically proven to activate brown fat which then, and I’m oversimplying a bit here, sucks the nasty white fat out of our body.

In fact, I now have a hypothesis of why so many men see massive weight loss (like 45 pounds in 90 days) during Exodus 90.  Yes, cutting out the beer and junk food and adding in some exercise obviously helps… but I also believe the cold showers have a lot more to do with it than anyone realizes.

So, yeah, cold water is good!  And this “What Doesn’t Kill Us…” book goes into extreme detail on how it’s far more than a weight loss tool.

But the part of the book I’m still unpacking, and trying to wrap my mind around, is what Scott Carney, the author, refers to as “the wedge.”

Allow me to explain.  Imagine you’re about to sneeze.  You feel the sneeze coming on.  It’s going to be a big one.  Now, imagine you don’t want to sneeze since you’ve just gotten your 3-month-old baby to sleep and you’re about to place her in her crib.  So, you close your eyes and, somehow, fight the sneeze off.  Put another way, you find a way to place a “wedge” between your body’s internal programming and the external “sneeze” pressures.

Here’s another example I recently blogged about.  Cold showers.  If you learn to control your breathing, and really relax, you can place a “wedge” between the cold water and your body.  After some practice I’m now able to do this with little struggle.  I can literally stand in an ice cold shower and not feel cold.  I know it sounds a little crazy and probably a little “woo woo” but, I’m telling you, it’s possible.

And while controlling your sneezing and not feeling cold water is pretty cool… it’s not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

But, what if there was a way to place a wedge between our will and the tendency to sin?  What if there’s a way to close our eyes and stop temptation, any temptation, dead in its track with our own spiritual wedge?

Perhaps this spiritual wedge could also be used the same way a wedge is driven into a tree after its been cut through part of the way in order to keep it from falling in the wrong direction.  Put another way, perhaps our spiritual wedges can also help us maintain any spiritual progress we make ensuring we don’t slide right back to our old sinful ways.

The Word of God tells us that we can do all things in Him who strengthens us.  So, I can’t help but believe the formation of a “spiritual wedge” is possible and something we should all seek to develop with the help of our Lord, His church, and our Lady.

In the meantime… I definitely suggest practicing with ice cold showers.  You can do it.  You really can.

Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!