Half-Drowned Heroes in a Half-Shell

Posted by on March 9, 2015 at 8:59 pm :: No Comments

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.

Jason and I made turtle shells out of disposable roasting pans.

Jason and I made turtle shells out of disposable roasting pans.

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.

This slippery chute added an entertaining element to the plunge.

This slippery chute added an entertaining element to the plunge.

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.

Yes, that water was every bit as cold as our shocked faces suggest.

Yes, that water was every bit as cold as our shocked faces suggest.

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.

This picture was among the ones featured in the news.

This picture was among the ones featured in the news.

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.

This was my best attempt at a turtle face. Good thing I don't try doing turtle often.

This was my best attempt at a turtle face. Good thing I don’t try doing turtle often.

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.

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