ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson stepped into a chamber at Millennium Ice in Plano on Tuesday to experience whole body cryotherapy and said a few things ran through his mind as the temperature dropped.
"I feel like I'm on Mount Everest with no clothes on," Wilson said. "That's a terrible idea. At the same time, I'm like, 'I'm going to throw harder. I can throw 160 piches. Are we done yet?' You're trying to survive it, I guess. But it's cool."
Wilson said he read about the Dallas Mavericks using the cooling chambers in an ESPN The Magazine story and talked it over with Rangers trainer Jamie Reed, who suggested Wilson try it. So Wilson has gone three times now to use it after throwing bullpen sessions.
He steps into a chamber (everything but his head) wearing just his underwear, socks and fleece gloves and cool air is circulated around him for about two minutes. On Tuesday, Wilson stayed in long enough for the air to get to minus-290 degrees Fahrenheit.
"There's a board for the 300 club," Wilson said. "I think I'll get there next time."
Wilson said he really doesn't like the cold, but more specifically, ice baths. This is a way to get the benefits of that without actually being in the tub. Of course, it gets very cold in there. Wilson said when the body is chilled in the chamber, blood rushes to the core and then after it flows out, rushing to the areas that need recovery the most first.
"As soon as you step out of it, you're happy to be alive," joked Wilson. "I feel more energetic and recharged, especially my leg muscles. With all the running and working out that we do, you get a little bit of overload sometimes."
Wilson has done the hyperbaric chamber before as well, saying if he can get "one percent" more from his body by doing it, it's worth it.
"The cutting edge of science is always evolving, so whether it's new surgical techniques or nutritional techniques or cryogenic cooling techniques, there's always going to be somebody in a sports locker room that will benefit from it," Wilson said.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.