Half-Drowned Heroes in a Half-Shell
Every February for five years running, Jason and I have shouted an anxious battle cry and then charged into the frosty depths of Utah Lake. This year we again participated in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Utah, even though the frosty depths refused to take their part in this ritual.
Utah has had the most bizarre weather the last few months. We’ve had little snow and even less winter. While this strange alteration in climate is sure to impact fauna and fowl alike, far worse than that, it has impacted me. No winter = no ice = no plunging polarly but I’ll get back to that in a moment.
Our plunging team this time consisted of six friends and friends of friends. We decided to dress up as characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all of the green guys plus April and Shredder. I came as Leonardo, fitting as I am such a responsible leader. (I’ll have none of those remarks from you!) And Jason appeared as the technological genius Donatello, which is also appropriate.
Since the aforementioned lack of cold and precipitation left Utah Lake low and iceless this February, Special Olympics came up with an alternative strategy for their event. Their plan consisted of a massive pool accessed by a slick slide, which was placed at the side of the lake. We were a little disappointed at first when we found out we wouldn’t be jumping into the marina but the slide and pool turned out to be pretty fun…and quite polar. Yes, oddly, the absence of ice-bogged waters didn’t really warm up our dive. As confirmed by a thermometer, the pool’s temperature was just a few degrees above freezing, plenty frigid enough to take breath and courage away.
Our polar plunge may have been atypical this time in that neither lake nor ice was involved but it followed normal patterns in many other ways. The water we tumbled into was, as ever, glacially inhospitable and, as in years past, our gang was interviewed by local news channels and featured in the newspaper.
A big thank you to those that donated to help the Turtles support some very special athletes. Due to your generosity, we raised more funds than all but two teams, over a thousand dollars in total.