Nathan Wright of Petoskey does what he calls the cold water experience. It’s his version of cold water therapy.
He says it’s what his ancestors did. “It’s something that originated from a book by Andrew Blackbird, famed Odawa from Harbor Springs,” said Wright. “Thou shalt immerse thy body into the lake or river. At least ten days in succession in the early spring of the year, the body may be strong and swift afoot to chase the game and the warpath.”
For 19 days, Wright has been taking a plunge in Pickerel Lake in Petoskey.
“I just get in a little bit of a mental game. A lot of times, I try to think positive. If there are any negative thoughts, like I think, oh geez, it’s going to be cold today, it’s windy, and I throw them out of my mind,” explained Wright.
Once Wright emerges from the water, he knows it was all worth it. “I get a little giggly afterward. It does do something to your endorphins. I just noticed overall confidence of just lots of things,” said Wright.
So what drove Wright to take on a frigid challenge like this? He hopes embracing the cold water brings awareness to earth’s natural resources.
“We’re concerned about the water, air and soil. We’re concerned about pollution contamination. I am in a spring-fed lake. I don’t ever want to see that be contaminated or polluted,” added Wright.
Wright says if you’re interested in trying cold water therapy, start slow. He suggests trying only ankle-deep water at first and having someone with you any time you take the plunge.