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From the desk of Coach James

When celebrities become humans and their greatest win is not winning


The fear of missing out (FOMO) is part of human nature, and something that most of us suffer from, in varying degrees, but we all get shiny object envy. I referenced Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof in a previous post, but I have a confession to make, I had not watched it, because I don’t watch very much television. When my mum said she was watching it and thought it was quite good, I got FOMO and decided to watch it on catch-up. I’m pleased I made the effort, I learned some helpful personal development insights that I’ll share with you here.



Already familiar with Wim Hof, and his breathing technique and love of cold showers, I was intrigued to see the premise of the programme.


For anyone who hasn’t seen it, eight celebrities spend a week living in the Italian Dolomite mountains, and they are set challenges that involve overcoming their fears, and embracing the cold.

It was great to see that the celebs fully embraced the methods and challenges Wim got them to do, and were all in. During the breathing exercise almost all of the participants had a big emotional release and were shown with tears in their eyes. It was nice to see that even these people are human. Even celebrities carry excess emotional baggage, just like the rest of us.


Stories were shared of harsh up bringing, suicide within the family, eating disorder, and low self-confidence issues. It looked like there was no holding back on an emotional level.


What was particularly interesting was that in one of the challenges, to swim under the ice for two meters, international footballer Patrice Evra, got into the icy water and then decided No, that he was not going to do it, not going to push himself like he usually does. Patrice saying No was heralded as a breakthrough for him, because he was seen saying in an earlier challenge that he always pushes himself and he doesn’t know his own limits – he was ordered out of the water because his body temperature had dropped below safety limits in a previous challenge, yet he said he felt fine and was okay to continue.


There is power in saying No, and in knowing your limits. Although Patrice probably could have done the under-ice swim, seeing he did all the other challenges, even after defiantly declaring he was not going to do the cold showers because he was made to take a cold shower as punishment when he was a child, and the memory


was a traumatic one for him, he still did it and got to tolerate the experience. Having the ability to say No is sometimes more of a challenge for someone than the actual challenge itself, especially for an elite-level athlete who only knows how to push through the pain to get to the top of their field.


In the final challenge that the week had been building up to, a bungy jump off a bridge – I would so love to have done that. All the contests had reservations about jumping but after doing it they admitted it was the best thing they had ever done. One celeb decided not to do it, not because he couldn’t but because he was putting other’s before himself, namely his children – he grew up without a father and he wanted to make sure he was there to be a father for his children. This moment was particularly poignant in showing selflessness, and self-care.

Today we are living in a world with differing opinions that are sometimes suppressed for fear of what others might think or say, but being true to who you are, and knowing yourself should not be kept under wraps, resulting in emotional baggage.


At the end of the series all the celebrities were huddled around a fire saying what a fabulous experience the week had been, and thanking Wim for everything he had shown and taught them. No winner’s trophy for this celebrity reality show, everyone was a winner in their own way. Having personal breakthroughs for some people is bigger than taking home a dust-gathering trophy.




For further details of the show click here

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