I never liked writing in the third person.
With that said - my name is Dan Jacobs, the madman in the cold you see plastered all over this website. Marketer by day, Hoffer on ice.
I lead all of the workshops and use my marketing experience to manage the website.
My partner-in-crime Fefe is my go-to-gal whenever I need a hand, but our pooch Pocket Wolf runs the show. Take one look at him and you'll see why.
Whenever you send an email or text to Ice Bath Workshops, one of us (probably Wolf) will be on the other end. It’s a small and honest operation and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
How I Became the Ice Dan
I was born in the middle of summer and hated the cold my entire life.
When I say hated, I mean loathed entirely - I was one of those people who wore a hoodie underneath a jacket beneath a pea coat wrapped in a scarf.
It was bad.
I did everything I could to move to South Florida as soon as I graduated high school because there’s a 0% chance that I would ever see a snowflake again in my life.
Wouldn’t ya know, it was in Miami Beach, one of the warmest places in the States, that I was first introduced to the Wim Hof Method.
From healthcare to self-care
I spent the previous 5+ years of my life working as a CNA in a locked dementia unit and trained to become an EMT and Paramedic; none of the Western healthcare practices I was exposed to made sense to me as everyone remained sick, and through a series of circumstances, I exited healthcare and entered marketing. I just couldn’t bring myself to continue on a career path that didn’t truly help people.
Don’t get me wrong, Western healthcare is important and has its place, but from what I saw in the nursing homes, emergency rooms, and ambulances I worked and trained in, it didn’t make any sense.
Through another series of circumstances, I began practicing yoga and was consistently having my mind blown by the incredible feats of healing and the human mind by those at the yoga studio I “grew up” in.
I was completely enthralled by sadhus who had renounced the worldly life, the unrivaled power of ayurveda, and the simple effectiveness of a consistent asana practice.
All of these new, true healing modalities just clicked where Western healthcare didn’t.
What stood out to me was that most of these healing practices taught the person how to heal themselves, using a combination of the mind and what nature provides, as opposed to relying on inefficient external sources and medications with a laundry list of side effects.
It was during this time that I decided to share these alternative and effective healing modalities with the world by becoming a yoga instructor - but I knew there was so much more aside from yoga that I, and others, could benefit from.
Then I saw the ice man in the now infamous Vice documentary.
How I Discovered the Method
Show me that Vice documentary again
I kept having my friend Gus play the video over and over again until he gave me that look of, “Dude you’re freaking me out”, and had him just text the link to me.
How could a man expose himself to the cold under such extreme circumstances, and not only not die, but thrive?
I thought I was well-rounded and could handle pretty much anything until this moment; I was humbled because I saw someone enjoying an environment that I held a lot of contempt and fear for.
I had to learn more, and I had to learn it from him.
Hi, I love you
I wanted to instantly learn the method and practice it, but deemed it too dangerous at the time unless I learned directly from Wim himself.
Years passed by and I kept up with Wim, checking to see if he would venture out of the Netherlands and make his way stateside. I was ready to fly out to California if I had to.
Thankfully, I wouldn’t have to fly anywhere as Wim was coming to Miami - 2 blocks away from my apartment. I instantly grabbed a ticket.
The day before the workshop, I was doing some laptop work in The Standard lobby when I heard a husky, familiar voice at the desk.
I peered past my screen and sure enough, it was the ice man himself.
My legs turned to jelly, but a force outside of me pulled me out of the couch and towards the dutch enigma.
I tapped on his shoulder, he turned to me, and I said in no uncertain terms, “Hi, I love you.”
Yup - I made a total jackass out of myself in front of one of my idols that I’ve studied carefully for the past few years.
Instead of giving me the “Woah, it’s one of these guys” looks, a smile beamed across his face as he embraced me and exclaimed “I love you too!”
We had a brief back and forth, and when I tell you Wim is exactly as he appears to be online, he is - a blinding light of positive energy that can not be dimmed. (Probably because he doesn’t know how to)
I wobbled back to my couch completely starstruck and still feeling pretty stupid - but, what came next was even cooler.
Sir, you can’t wear pants here
After about 20 minutes or so, I wandered down to the pool and continued to work on my laptop. I was with my buddy “Instagram Dan” (together we’re dan squared), and again just so happened to glance past my screen to notice the ice man yet again.
This time, he was getting into the cold plunge - of course.
But, I was wholly unprepared.
I had jeans on with no swimsuit, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
I Fabio’d my way over to the cold plunge and slowly slunk into the cold water with Wim.
No words were said for the first few moments, until I blurted out, “Have you ever tried a headstand under the ice?”
He said, “Of course! Have you?”
I told him that I had not, to which he insisted that I do it right now - so, I did.
We got on like a house on fire, and after that moment and had an unforgettable back and forth for about 15 minutes.
Well, it actually was probably forgettable, because I can’t remember a single thing I said….
Anyways, we were interrupted by a manager at The Standard who had come over to tell me, “Sir, you can’t wear pants here”.
Wim and I did the whole “Oh, c’mon, blah blah blah”, but I of course obliged.
And that was the end of that - the next day was the actual workshop.
A slap and a push
The workshop was incredible, Wim was very approachable and I experienced an ice bath for the first time, from Wim, just as I had planned for all of those years.
It wasn’t nearly as scary or intolerable as I had imagined, as is with most things in life, but I will never forget what can only be described as electricity running through my veins and on my skin after I left the ice bath.
If the ice bath was a slap to my reality, the breathing was a gentle, yet firm, push into what the mind is capable of. Being guided through a breathing session by Wim pushed my mental limits and jettisoned me through a series of emotions, perceptions, and possibilities.
Here, I realized that just like sharing yoga with the world, I could become a Wim Hof Method instructor and share that with the world as well. I had found a giant tool to add to my arsenal of building a stronger, more fulfilled humanity.
How I Trained to Teach the Method
Part Uno: Miami to LA
Yeah, yeah, cliche, I know… but to become an instructor, I had to travel to somewhere in LA for the Advanced Module, part one of two to become an instructor.
It was an extraordinary experience, and I met some incredible people with their own stories of the method that inspired me even further to complete the program.
After an accident, one instructor totally crushed one of his calves and the condition only worsened. The muscle was deteriorating, and doctors told him that he would never be able to talk again, and potentially have to have his leg amputated.
After practicing the Wim Hof Method and connecting with his body again, his condition steadily reversed and was walking tall and proud when we met - and still is.
Another attributes the Wim Hof Method as a major factor in conquering his past schizophrenia.
The list goes on and on, but meeting these incredible people with even more incredible stories was humbling to say the least.
Part Deux: Vegas to Middle of Nowhere
I wound up living in Vegas for a short stint, and it was during this time that the second part of the instructor module took place. This time, we were to convene in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific NorthWest somewhere in Washington State.
I booked a plane ticket, rented a truck, carpooled with a few other guys at the airport, and made my way to the final step in becoming an instructor.
I really can’t put words to describe how quickly we became such a tight tribe, but we did, and the experience was life-changing.
At the end, I was a full-blown instructor with my own Official Wim Hof Instructor Page, and continue leading workshops to this day.
That’s enough writing about me for one sitting - I have no idea how autobiographers do it.
TLDR; The Wim Hof Method joined me with some of the most incredible people on the face of the Earth while also bringing me closer to myself than anything else I had practiced.
I don’t like to view myself as an instructor or guru or any of that crap, but more like an excited friend showing you a cool new thing.
My goal here is to be a guide that brings you down a path that brought me fulfillment, purpose, and strength.
I don’t know what’s waiting for you on the other side of the icy bridge, but I can show you how to cross it, and I promise you that it’s worth the journey.
Stay healthy, happy, and strong