Sunday, February 5, 2012
I survived the Polar Plunge...and I want to do it again!
Wow. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Well that and "HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AWESOME!". I am amazed to tell you that I never once thought about chickening out today. In fact, I shot out of bed first thing this morning ready to get the day started.
First I needed to go to Church. I threw on my Polar Bear Plunge sweatshirt and my new size 6 jeans (HOLLA!). I just sat there thanking God for who I am today. I really have come so far. I started thinking about the plunge as a sort of baptism to the New Me. My plans were to Dunk my whole head if the sun came out for the plunge. I was that committed.
We got to the boardwalk about an hour early. It was MOBBED. I loved every minute of it. It was chilly though. The air temperature was 41 (although it shot up a whole degree by plunge time) and the water temperature was 47.
There were lots of groups with themes. There were ladies with Lady Bug hats. A group with frog masks. I lost count of the number of Tu-Tus. I loved every minute of it. My favorite moment of the wait was when they started playing "Hot Hot Hot". Ha ha. Lie Lie Lie! It was cold. Cold I tell you.
When it was 30 minutes to go they sent us down to the beach to get ready for the giant aerial picture they were going to take. We tried to get as close as possible, but really we didn't want people running across our blanket in a trample either. So we found a spot between these three hard-core ladies (we promised to meet them in the same spot next year) and a large group with a Marines Flag (easy to spot to find our towels after the plunge).
So we sat for about 15 minutes freezing our ta-tas off. Did I mention how cold it was? The hardest part of the plunge was the wait on the beach. There was lots of hugging for body warmth. ha ha.
The best advice was when they kept coming over the loud speaker saying: You want to run in fast and run back out fast.
The second best advice was that we were told to only go in up to our knees because of the wicked undertow. It came from an official, so I was not going to be dunking today (yes, the sun peaked through at exactly 1pm).
We decided that when it got down to 5 minutes to go we would start stripping the clothes. We were late bloomers. So many were down to their skivvies with 10 minutes to go. Did I mention that it was cold? When there was one minute left the ladies in front said it was time to move. So we made our way down through the spectators to the water.
In our preparation packet they said to leave your shoes on until the last possible moment. The sand would feel like ice. So we were to stand on a towel before and after the plunge. Um...they were NOT kidding. Standing in the wet sand for that one minute wait for the countdown was painful. I could not feel my feet. Oddly enough all of that body heat kept the body warm, but my feet were not getting that message.
I happened to notice a large camera two people in front of us. I peaked around and saw the newscaster. Oh S*&T. No time to absorb that information. 3-2-1 RUN!
Bibble grabbed my hand (we follow the rules with the buddy system) and into the water we went. The wave was receding as we started chasing it and I knew this was going to be bad. BAM we got hit with one just as we got up to knees. My butt got SOAKED. Bibble was pulling me in and we went further than a lot of people, but not as far as others.
On the way back it was crazy. The wave was receding again and our feet were sinking into the sand. It was running in slow motion. We were running up the hill and that's when I spotted it. I was running Baywatch Style straight at the News Camera. CRAP. *I just checked the website and they only had a still shot and I was not in it, but I'm sure I was bouncing across TV screens all over the Delmarva area right before the Superbowl....Oh joy* ***The video has now been uploaded on the site...BAH! I will post the link below***
Our adrenalin was pumping so hard that we were not even cold when we got back to the towels. We dried off and packed up with big giant stupid grins on our faces. When we got back to the boardwalk we found my Dad and Bibble's daughter. They were a bit cold so we opted to head back to the car and skip the after party. Maybe next year.
It's hard to say what I liked best about the day. There was so much. I loved that so much money was raised for such a good cause. I loved all of the shapes and sizes (young and old...small and large) of people participating in the plunge. I loved the smile on the faces of the Special Olympics Participants throughout the day. I LOVED EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. I will be looking into volunteering for the Special Olympics this year. I have to do it. I can't not. This is too important.
In the long car ride home tonight, because the adrenalin dropped and I have since felt like I had been hit by a truck, we discussed our team for next year. We want to bring more people and do it up. We will have a theme. We will raise big bucks. We will participate in all events throughout the festival. I mentioned that I would ask my friend Heather who was there to see her son plunge. After all, who would not want to participate after being a part of that day. Bibble quickly pointed out "Because it's freakin cold."
I love that I don't even consider that a problem. I am way more confidant and adventurous than the former fat girl. I have so many wasted years to make up for. I don't know what I would say 'No' to at this point (well you still won't get me to jump out of an airplane, but that's more to do with my lack of faith in the parachute packer). I'm willing to try the full marathon. I'm willing to look into a City to Shore Cycling race. I'm willing to hike a mountain. I'm willing to take on the world.
Video Link - Watch for the very last 5 seconds
***Check out my facebook page for pictures***
Seriously, leave off the final L
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.