Mom, we know many of you are on board with the revitalizing power of a soak in the tub. That is, if you can actually get fifteen minutes to yourself without fielding 20 questions about where things are or how many kids you have or where several of those kids you just mentioned are at the moment.
As for the rest of the family, the tub typically doesn’t hold a place of honor in their hierarchy of the household. To put it simply, the bathtub has a branding problem. It doesn’t have any fancy bells and whistles, no screens or apps or virtual reality integration. It’s spokespeople are small children who enjoy the bubble variety and adults seeking refuge from the demands of, well, adulting.
For boys whose idea of relaxing is practicing wrestling moves on friends or the audio-visual assault of video games, the idea of sitting still in a puddle of warm water for 15 minutes is understandably unappetizing. Especially given the peculiar allergy boys seem to develop around water when it is being used in any cleansing capacity. Grungy creek water, no problem. Clean and sudsy? Fight or flight.
But boys, the bathtub has benefits. Not baths. Bathtubs. From sweat lodge to sauna, hot spring to hot bath, the use of baths and steam as a means of mental and physical revitalization spans centuries and cultures. Throughout our rich history as a species, a hard fought battle has, when possible, been followed by a long, relaxing soak. So when discussing “a soak” with your sons, think of it in the context of the Roman Legion or Wild West, where even the baddest of the bad looked forward to a chance to clean up and unwind. The heroes of their day earned the opportunity to return to a more civilized state, their toughness in battle providing the safety to be at their most vulnerable in a relaxing, hot bath.
In these modern, and generally safer, times, we’ve seen the bath evolve from post-combat to post-game, where every sports’s elite enjoys some form of post game soak. And, shameless product plug coming, when you combine warm water with epsom salts and essential oils like bergamot, tea tree and eucalyptus, the soak can offer some much needed relief to the bumps, bruises and fatigue of the modern athlete. Whether relishing the thrill of victory or easing the sting of defeat, the soak (not bath) is a great way to get ready for the next day’s action.
So, gentlemen of the younger variety, let’s get the hot water running and reclaim the bathtub in the name of glory and competition. This is not your mother’s or baby brother’s bath time. This is the soak of the victorious.
Frequently Asked Questions About Soaking
Q: But Mom (or Dad), there’s no screen. What am I supposed to do in there?
A: Meditate. Find your inner zen. Or, if that’s too much, just manage to sit still without making a mess for 15 minutes. Is that too much to ask? Yes. Yes it is.
Q: How long do I have to stay in?
A: Until you leave for college. Just kidding, but twenty minutes of blissful silence would be nice.
Q: When should I soak?
A: There are a few prerequisites for a soak. Soreness and muscle fatigue. Dirt, stains and sweat. Cuts, scrapes and bruises. Aka, your general, run-of-the-mill side effects of daily life as a boy.
Q: Is the soak just for boys?
A: Our soak can be used by anyone over the age of 8. Mom, see how it stands up to your usual bathtime accoutrements. And Dad, Newsflash for you. As you start to get older and try to keep pace with those up-and-coming offspring of yours, your body isn’t going to respond the same way it did in your prime. You may have the upperhand at the moment, but the level of exertion needed to keep your record perfect is only going up until a one goes up in the L column. Consider paving the way for soaking in your household by praising it’s beneficial, and increasingly necessary, properties. Your muscles and joints will appreciate it.
Q: Do I detect a hint of Bergamot?
A: Why yes. How very (essentially) enlightened of you. Bergamot oil, from the Bergamot citrus fruit, provides a fresh, cleansing fragrance which is said to help create feelings of relaxation and focus. It is also known for helping to relieve joint and muscle pain, soothe skin irritations and kill germs and bacteria – essential after a long day or game.