Freezin’ for a Reason
On New Year’s Day I did the stupid; I jumped into a freezing pond when the temperature outside was only a mere 12 degrees. It was fun. (Yes, I did just say it was fun.) Thanks to this ill-conceived dip my picture ended up in the newspaper and a clip of me showed up on TV. I was famous.
Unwilling to relinquish my newfound glory, I decided to participate in another frigid affair, a plunge to benefit the Special Olympics. This time the plunge was at a slightly larger pond: Utah Lake.
I assembled a team consisting of the brave and foolish to join me: Jason, Lauren, Jacob, and Jeremy Rowley. No need to point out which are the brave and which are the foolish. We named our team the Ice Queens and, because Lauren and I made some significant fundraising efforts, we managed to collect $600 for the Special Olympics and finish as one of the top 5 teams. (The boys were next to useless when it came to fundraising.) Thanks to everyone that gave generously to our group; you made my freezing hinny feel better about its lot in life.
Jason’s brother Jeremy was also an event participant but not an Ice Queen. He didn’t want to be in our group because he thought he would be able to gather his own posse. Too bad all his friends are flakes or cowards. Out of all of the big talkers only one guy showed up to jump in with him. At least he had a swim buddy even if he totally missed out on his chance to be plunging royalty.
The day of the plunge was really quite pleasant for the middle of February; it was just a few degrees below freezing. The ice in the Pelican Bay marina, where the plunge took place, still had to be hacked away though to make a spot for the jumpers to get into the water. Since there were 180 participants it was impossible for everyone to plunge in at once. Groups of up to six were allowed out onto the dock one at a time. From the dock they tottered over the frozen lake to the spot where the ice had been chipped away for them. After those on the brink had mustered the courage to hop into the water the next group was led out.
By the time it was our team’s turn to dive in the ice had sunk a few inches near the dock from the heavy traffic so concerned officials decreased the number of plungers allowed on the ice at a time from six to four. This made it necessary for our 5 member team to jump in two shifts. Bummer.
Since our squad had to be split up just Lauren, Jason, and I plunged together. We grasped each other’s hands and leaped into the frigid lake before we had time to reconsider. Brr! Hitting that water took my breath away. The worst part about it all was that you couldn’t just jump back out after you realized what you had gotten yourself into; you had to swim to shore. It probably only took me a minute to reach the water’s edge but man, it felt like I was kicking my way through that glacial bay forever. On the plus side, the temperature of the air was only refrigerator cold, not freezer cold, so getting out of the lake wasn’t as miserable as being in it. Also, a hot tub had been set up near the shore for post-plungers to warm themselves in and it felt mighty good. I only put my feet in for a minute but amazingly that brief immersion defrosted me quite a bit.
This plunge was a great experience and it was all for a great cause. Sure, it was also a bit miserable but misery and fun make great companions. You are likely to find the Ice Queens out on the lake again next year ready for another frigid dip.