Danica Patrick may have retired from NASCAR, but that doesn't mean that the 37-year-old is taking it easy on a beach somewhere. She is actually learning about the unique ways to recover from training.
Over the weekend, Patrick shared one of her more interesting experiences on Instagram, posting a photo of her in a tub filled to the brim with ice water. As she explained in the caption, this was certainly something new and relatively daunting, but finding the inner strength to fight through the temperature drop was fulfilling in more ways than she expected.
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This was a cool ❄️🤣 experience. I have never done an ice bath before but when in Rome!!!!.....or at @gabbyreece and @lairdhamiltonsurf house, that’s what you do. It starts with 12 min (or whatever you can handle) in the “truth barrel” sauna which is between 200-220 degrees. Then it’s 3 min in the ice (because it’s 4 times harder). The first :10 seconds are very weird. Hard to breathe, you just gasp, but with Gabby by your side talking you through it...... it’s a piece of cake. Good coaches are rare. She is one of those. 🙌🏼 BUT the real champion was @emcapretta!!!!!! In the truth barrel she said “I would rather swim with sharks than go in cold water” 😳!!!! And was dreading this with sweaty palms for the two days leading up, after committing. Take the same action but have two different people regarding confidence/strength/experience levels and the one with less is doing more. Stretch yourself.....because she said the rest of the day, and I quote, “I was on a high”! A natural one people, one that is attainable through breath, bravery, and confidence. Get addicted to THAT!
As Patrick continued to explain, she first started by sitting in a sauna for 12 minutes, which is set between 200-220 degrees. Immediately after, she has to sit in the ice bath for three minutes, which causes a very strange reaction in the body. Patrick found it hard to catch her breath in the first few seconds due to the shock but ultimately powered through and achieved success.
Interestingly enough, this ice bath is not entirely unique to the surfer Laird Hamilton. Many top-level athletes will actually sit in the cold water to either kickstart the day or help recover after a grueling workout.
One such athlete who incorporated this strategy after every single game was former NFL running back Steven Jackson. During his time with the St. Louis Rams, Jackson would finish off his gameday experience by driving home from the stadium and sitting in the ice bath at 2:00 a.m.
Josh Bridges, a former Navy Seal who became a popular figure in the sport of Crossfit, goes in the opposite direction. He converted a chest freezer into what he refers to as a "cold tub." Each morning, Bridges starts his day by sitting in the 35-degree water for four minutes. This wakes him up and prepares him for roughly eight hours of weight lifting and training.
While Patrick may not be recovering from an NFL game or trying to compete in the Crossfit Games, she may just have found a new way to help her body recover after workouts. Be on the lookout for bulk ice deliveries heading to the Patrick household.