I tried cryotherapy, and now I’m ready for more golf. Seriously.

A day after a round on No. 2, I was sore and hurting. Cryotherapy changed everything.

By Alex Podlogar

I AM NOT DUSTIN JOHNSON (you probably aren’t either), and so my golf neither appears nor feels athletic. But while Pinehurst No. 2 is not a difficult walk, combine that with the status of my game, and I really feel it the next day. My neck aches, the twinges in my midsection remind me that my shoulder rotation is limited for a reason, and the 6 miles it takes to traverse No. 2 leave my quads and calves groaning.

Which led me to cryotherapy.

The Spa at Pinehurst will soon offer guests and members whole body cryotherapy sessions, including providing options for monthly passes and regular visits. And while I faced some trepidation about how this might feel, I took the polar plunge, sans water.

And it worked.

Man, it worked.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CRYOTHERAPY AT PINEHURST

I am not your typical Spa guest. Most people go to The Spa for relaxation and rejuvenation, and not only do they get those things, they transition into a Zen-like state just in anticipation of the visit.

I’m the total opposite. I freak out a little. I worry. I feel out of place. I don’t find comfort in a robe.

But I wanted to try this, and I did it.

And I’m glad I did.

Spa Director Branden Fein immediately put me at ease, and while the idea ahead of time that you’ll have to wear gloves and slippers – I also wore shorts – could potentially wear on the psyche, Fein’s calming explanation of what I was about to experience indeed settled the nerves. Whether he knew it or not, Fein was coaching me, and armed with intelligence, the comfort level began to rise.

One problem: You hear “minus-249 degrees” and everything after that begins to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

But the entire process is just 3 minutes, and while I experienced nervous energy akin to the moment before I jump onto a roller-coaster, I stood in the cryotherapy cylinder fully aware. And that helps.

That said, I still worried about just how cold this would feel. I was only doing the opening stage session – there are up to eight different settings that feature differing lengths of cold-air bursts over the 3 minutes – but, really, who likes to be cold?

For the next few hours, I realized I wasn’t sore like I was earlier in the morning. The golf fatigue my body was feeling was gone. I may have still felt a small twinge here and there, but nothing like before.

It dawned on me – not only was I absolutely ready to walk another 18 on No. 2, I would’ve signed up to carry my bag and walk No. 8. I felt good.

Again, Fein coached me through it. Here’s what going to happen…now this will happen…next is just 30 seconds of this…anytime you feel uncomfortable, we’ll stop.

And…it was fine. Totally fine.

I did shiver at the end – minus-249 is certainly something – and my legs were quaking as the final re-warming process ended the session. I did feel the rush of energy coming out that I was told would happen. I wasn’t bouncing off the walls, but, well, I was rejuvenated for sure.

And that was it. My whole process – from check-in to re-dress and out of the locker room – took less than 20 minutes.

Well, I thought that was it.

It wasn’t.

For the next few hours, I realized I wasn’t sore like I was earlier in the morning. The golf fatigue my body was feeling was gone. I may have still felt a small twinge here and there, but nothing like before.

It dawned on me – not only was I absolutely ready to walk another 18 on No. 2, I would’ve signed up to carry my bag and walk No. 8. I felt good.

It got better.

Some of my soreness came back later in the evening. But it didn’t last. The following morning, my soreness was gone. Completely.

It hits me now – golfers should be doing this. You are in and out, the session takes 3 minutes, you re-dress and hit the range. I’m not in great shape – dude, I’m not even threatening good shape – but cryotherapy helped.

I’d do it again tomorrow.

Especially if I could play golf today.

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