Having spent an entire life working with and around water, Craven now believes he may have stumbled on his greatest discovery yet, a true élan vital. He believes he has found a way to extend life through cold-water therapy, and he has become his own test subject. Each night, Craven, who is now 85, applies a cold pack to his stomach for several hours. He drifts into a dreamless sleep, curled into a fetal position. “Next thing you know, I wake up in the morning and feel like Rip Van Winkle,” he says. “My pulse is 65. My blood pressure is 120 over 80. I have no joint pain of any kind. It’s incredible.”
Craven calls the cold-water therapy nothing less than a metamorphosis, a form of hibernation that allows his metabolism to slow the aging process and heal injury. Skeptical? Craven, who usually shuffles slowly around his house, demonstrates that he can instantly convert into purposeful strides. “I’m planning on walking the Honolulu Marathon in December, maybe even running it,” he says.
Craven walks me to the door. Through-out his life, he’s been involved in schemes many would call a little nuts. But perhaps that’s the best thing of all about Craven: He is not afraid to look nuts. He has spent a lifetime coming up with innovative and frequently outlandish ideas, all with a goal to move humanity forward and make the world a saner place. He is not afraid of change—and great change at that—and in the end that could be the most powerful message this ancient mariner has for us.
“Get me Craven!” HH