Let it Float!

20140524-004731.jpg

I Surrendered to the Float.
The what?
FLOAT.
The Float.

As in floating in a sea of super salty warm water. Talk about buoyant. Archimedes would be STOKED. Float as in sensory deprivation chamber. I realize this sounds like something straight out of the Island of Doctor Moreau, but trust me. Not so. I wasn’t greeted by a New Age Monkey With Two Asses burning sage or anything, but I was completely unaware of what I was about to experience. No worries though. Being the stressed out, black eyed, broken, tapering, neurotic runner that I had morphed into, I figured it would do me some good before the marathon. And? It totally did.

Floating itself is not new. John C. Lily, a neuroscientist, developed a sensory deprivation chamber back in 1954 to determine what kept the brain going. Were the sources of energy for the brain biological or dependent on outside stimuli? So. If you took away allll stimuli, would the brain go to sleep? Na-nights Brain. Enter the sensory deprivation chamber. By the 70s people had been doing research into the benefits of floating and determined that quieting all of the outside noise, created a very low stress environment. Low cortisol + high dopamine and endorphin levels = a very peaceful, calm, low stress Colby person.

Is there a word more relaxing than relaxation? If so, insert it HERE. It was the deepest sense of peace I had ever felt. The water itself is kept at the average skin temperature (93.5Β° F), which allows you to lose track of your body. Literally. And the water is so salty, that you simply can not sink. You float. Your head too. Easily. You completely loose concept of where your body ends and the water begins. The float room is completely sound proof and, when you turn off the twinkle lights, it’s pitch black. Completely dark. But not claustrophobic. At all. No gravity, no touch, no sound, and no sight. Just you. And your noisy thoughts. Which shock of all shocks, I was able to silence. Shit. They were gagged and bound by the time I was done.

People float for a bunch of reasons one of which is to relieve stress. {Tapering Runner waves arms wildly, screaming MEEE!}. For this tweaking runner? It was the most complete relaxation I have ever felt. It’s hard to describe the feeling. You lose all concept of yourself. It’s like you go to this other space. Where? I’m not sure. But I hope it was to The Land of Kick Ass Marathons. Very out of body. But peaceful. Not creepy. Or constricted. Move one finger? And you have awareness of you body. But it quickly fades. After a while it feels like your toeing the awake vs. asleep line. Which is that wonderful transition before Snoozeville. And it’s glorious.

I started out like this.

20140524-004800.jpg

Stressed about the marathon. My training. My tight back. My scarred, healing face. The whole shebang. Then I really tried. I was making the most of this. I visualized the run. Focused on the miles ticking away. Focusing on the last 6. My breath. Then 3. Then 1. And that’s when I couldn’t tell where I ended and the world began. It was beyond unplugged. It was this profound sense of calm and confidence that washed over me.

I ended like this.

20140524-004848.jpg

And today? After driving over 5 hours, 1.5 of which was at a dead stop in traffic, picking up my packet and having a nice Heady Topper with my Other Half?

I’m as cool as a salty cucumber.
No wait. Make that a pickle. πŸ™‚

Have you ever Floated before? Had you ever heard of it before this swell blog post?

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Let it Float!

  1. This is the coolest thing- I’m not sure I could handle it. I feel like I would be panicking about imaginary underwater animals that could attack me at any moment… It would feel like the start of a nightmare. I can’t imagine it being calming for me. I’m thinking it might be like savasana at the end of yoga- deep peace where you lose sense of everything. I’d be willing to give it a shot, but it seems a little scary!

    • It was incredibly cool. And not the least bit scary. The water isn’t that deep. And once you’re comfortable, you CAN turn off the lights. You don’t have to. I was a little freaked at first. But after 15 minutes of getting used to it and getting the WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING over with that’s EXACTLY the kind of peace it is. Only even deeper. If you benefit from savasana, you would THRIVE at this.

  2. That sounds so good!!! I haven’t heard of it before but I’d love to find one to try. I’m glad it did the trick for you. I can’t think of a more relaxing word for relaxation other than calm….not quite the same but it sounds like it was calming to the max.

    • It really was amazing. I’m not sure how many of these are peppered around. But I have one RIGHT NEAR ME. {Faints.}. If you find one, try it. I would be curious to hear your thoughts. πŸ™‚

  3. Very cool! I’ve heard of it, but never done it (talking about floating of course).
    And we’ll all float on OK
    And we’ll all float on alright
    Already we’ll all float on
    Now don’t you worry we’ll all float on alright
    Already we’ll all float on alright
    Don’t worry we’ll all float on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s