“Roughing” it in Japan without heat or cooling
When I was in Japan, I decided to go without using a heater or air conditioner in my apartment.
- Electricity was expensive.
- I wanted to expose my body to a larger range of discomfort so that it could adapt and become more resilient.
- I liked One Punch Man, a Japanese superhero manga/anime about a man who could defeat any enemy, no matter how powerful, in one punch. He broke through a physical limiter by going through a strict exercise regimen of pushups, sit-ups, and running (which I didn’t successfully follow) as well as not using accommodations like heating and cooling.
Japan got about as hot as in Florida in summer, where I grew up. It also got a lot colder, to the point of light snow, in winter, which I was not acclimated to at all. In summer, I would open windows and use electric fans. In winter, I would bundle up and spend most of my time in bed.
I had a habit of taking cold showers before going Japan. When I got there just before winter, it was my first time living alone and paying all the utility bills. So I opted out of gas, which heated water. This was to save money and force myself out of my comfort zone. It didn’t work. I dreaded taking the cold showers. They were way colder than what I was used to. I would end up skipping days. Eventually, I succumbed, and asked my boss to get the gas company to come turn the gas on. I ended up enjoying nice hot baths every night, which were really the only source of heat in my apartment. However, I made it a goal to still end with a cold shower for a few seconds to half a minute, just to introduce a slight shock to my body and keep more adaptable to the cold.