About six weeks ago, one of my co-workers asked several people in the office if they would do a polar bear swim here in Indiana in late February as a fundraiser for the Indiana Special olympics.
Polar Bear Swim.
Getting the picture? It’s not a good one.
I hate the cold. A lot. But, I like adventure more and having never done a Polar Bear swim before, I wasn’t going to turn down my first chance to take part.
We got up early Saturday and headed to the state park nearby. There was quite a crowd there, so we had to wait for an hour or so until it was our turn to jump into the 34 degree water. Note for you barefoot enthusiasts: Vibrams are good at a lot of things, but keeping your feet warm while standing in snow for an hour isn’t one of them.
I was expecting the plunge to be a hole in the ice like a lot of the other dives I’d seen on TV, but this one was more straightforward. It was just us and the creek. There was a little beach area and we were just supposed to run into the creek and run out. There was a semi-circle of firemen standing in the waterabout 40 feet or so infrom the shoreline making sure that people didn’t have a heart attack/drown/go-for-a-swim/get-lost-at-sea.
Most of the people ran straight out to the firemen and back. A few brave souls ran the gauntlet of firemen and ran from one end to the other. I decided to be one of those people. I figured if I was going to be freezing every single appendage on my body at once, I could stand 30 more seconds of complete total-body numbness.
I’d explain the actual plunge, but people recorded it on video, so it’s probably better [and more entertaining ] if you just watched it:
[If you’re reading this in an email, click here to watch the video]
When I finally got out, I couldn’t feel my legs or feet. It felt like I was walking on bricks. I only submerged completely twice and the whole ordeal lasted less than 90 seconds, but it felt like it was at least 2-3 minutes of torture. Here’s what I looked like when I came out of the water. Yes, it was that cold and yes, I am a big baby. It felt like a thousand miniature knives were stabbing me all over, but the pain was temporary and it was for a good cause. In my book, that makes it all worth it.
Here’s every post from BIT this month. If you’re new or just have been behind for a bit, here’s your chance to catch up:
- 21 Ways To Survive A Snowpocolypse, Blizzaster, Snowmageddon or Any Other Cleverly Named End-of-the-World Pseudo Natural Disaster
- The Other Eight Hours
- Average People
- Mental Escapism and The Thing In Front of You
- The Fun Manifesto
- Discipline is…
- Write Less
The WDS Skydive planning is going smoothly. We have an awesome group lined up and things are coming together very nicely. It’s going to be a lot of fun kicking people like Jacob, Steve & Matt out of a plane.
Marathon training is in full effect. This past Sunday, I set out to run 12 miles according to my training schedule. It turns out that I got lost in the modern day labrynth known as a subdivision and ended up running closer to 14. No thanks to the subdivisions, but I’m officially “halfway” to my marathon distance. I also ran this run comfortably about 1o minutes faster than I ran 13.1 back in November. +1 for progress!
Impossible – The Manifesto. I’m way behind on this and I have no good excuse other than my priorities have been elsewhere. I’ve set a new date: April 23. Look for it then. It’s coming. I promise.
In case you wanted more, here’s the full set of photos from the 90 seconds of pain. Please enjoy watching my body temperature drop to an unhealthy number.
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As always, thanks for reading. I really do appreciate it. I’ve got so some very cool things planned, so stay tuned.[Photo Credit]