Monday, February 4, 2013

Polar Plunge Weekend Part 2- The Plunge...brrrrr

Happy Monday Bleeps!

Did you have a good weekend? I sure as heck did!

So when last I left you I was going to bed while it was snowing outside.  I had forgotten to mention something in yesterday's post. I know I said that it was cold, but seriously I had never seen so many people in a 5K bundled up and wearing so many sweatshirts. Seriously, it was COLD people!

Okay, so I woke up Sunday morning and got ready to go to church. The same thing happened that happened last year. It's almost as if a calm took over my body. I was not worried about the cold at all. I was all ready for the day to get started!

And the nice thing was that when I walked outside it wasn't that cold. In fact, the sun was starting to come out. When I got to church I could hear the melted snow dripping off the roof and oh that was the sweetest sound!

After church I stopped at the store to pick up some Hot Chocolate packets and well yeah, there was a Starbucks there. I didn't want to go overboard thinking I would be going heavy on the Hot Chocolate all day so I got a tall Skinny Caramel Macchiato (100 calories).

Before I had left for church, dad had asked if I wanted breakfast when I got back. Absolutely!  A full belly during the cold is a good thing. When you are shivering you are using energy and it's harder when there is nothing in there. So I had some hash browns and an egg.  It's Super Bowl Sunday...I was totally prepared for a cheat day.

I had an hour to kill before we left and well what else am I supposed to do besides a whole bunch of ab work. LAST CHANCE WORKOUT! haha. So I went upstairs and did some planks and V-crunches. And then it was time to get ready. I put on the bikini.  I had two tops to choose from. I did a quick "run" test to make sure there wasn't a wardrobe malfunction.  Then I put on my Polar Bear fleece pajama bottoms and my polar bear sweatshirt. The final piece was the Polar Bear hat that I had found the day before. I was stylin I tell you!

I quickly made a hot chocolate for the road and soon we were off. I was so happy to see that the sun was still out. It was a beautiful drive. We arrived in town an hour before the Plunge and man it was crowded. We actually had a hard time parking. The buzz was already in the air as we were walking towards the boardwalk.

The boardwalk was still a huge mess with the ice. There were parts that were very difficult to walk on. A big shout out to my Stepmom Joyce for maneuvering on the boardwalk in her high heels. I so could not have done that. We probably should have walked on the side walk parallel to the boardwalk a block back, but then we would have missed the young men in their speedos. haha. Let's see what other good ones did we see? There was a man dressed head to toe in a Gorilla suit. I don't even want to think about how gross that is when it gets wet.

We found my Plunge group at 12:25 and I had to quickly leave and run to the bathroom. And yeah, it was a long line.  I was close to the clock and temperature, but I couldn't see it until after I was walking back. At 12:33 it was 36 degrees. The crazy thing is that last year it was in the lower 40's, but there was no sun until 1pm last year. This year the air temperature was lower, but it felt so much warmer because of the sun.  In fact I actually took my coat off before we went on to the beach.

When I had gotten back to the group I noticed that my dad had disappeared. He was over getting our favorite Thrashers French fries. YUM! I was able to have a couple fries before we headed down to the beach.

We met up with the rest of our group and started getting ready. First we put down the blankets and towels for us to stand on and save our feet. Then it was time to begin disrobing. And let me tell you, I so was not looking forward to this part. I'm not super comfortable with my body in the standing position in a bikini and it really doesn't help when there are ten 16-yr olds in tiny bikinis right next to you. FUN!

We started doing the countdown at 10 minutes. First up I took off my sweatshirt and put my coat back on for easy disrobing. I asked Emily to take my picture so that I could send it to those who donated money for me to participate.  OH and real quickly, my donations doubled on Saturday :-) Thanks Jen!

When I looked at the photo later I wanted to cry. Of course I was sucking in and that was making it worse. Sure I looked skinnier, but there was some flabby skin. I looked like I had previously given birth to quadruplets. I'm not brave enough to send that photo to anyone. I do have others that have my belly covered with a towel, but you can still tell it's a bikini top.  That will have to do for now.  That just means that I have a new goal for next year's Plunge.  Yeah, I'm now a Lifer :-)

Okay so after the sweatshirt the next thing I removed were my boots and socks....even standing on the blanket my feet could feel the cold sand underneath...brrr...3 to go. Okay, time to take off the pants. Wow, just standing there in the coat was fine. It didn't feel THAT cold...although I think my brain did a great job of fooling me. One minute to go: off comes that coat.

Um so here I am! I'm standing with 3500 people in my bikini and I'm about to run and jump in the ocean, which they just announced was 38 degrees.

This year we were off to the side. Last year we were in the middle and it was a little more condensed. We were still very crowded, but it felt like I could breathe. The people in front of us had a pole with plastic flowers on them. Someone stayed behind and held it up. GENIUS!

One minute to go!  Everyone down to the water. This year was a little better. I was standing on cold sand waiting, but last year we were standing on wet cold sand and that was like ice.

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's like an out of body experience. I was in the front, but still by the time I got all of the way down to the water people were running back up. I didn't have Bibble pulling me in further this time. The water was cold, but oddly refreshing. If I wasn't wearing my polar bear hat I might have fully dunked. Instead I went to the bottom of my boobs. And then I ran back...towards those plastic flowers. Thank you.

It took a little long to focus when I got back to the towels. My brain was screaming: Grab a towel. My body took a little longer to register and do just that.

As I was drying off I could hear my name being yelled. Daddy had come down on to the beach to take pictures. Hi Daddy! You're daughter is a little on the Crazy side!  Haha.

Eventually I dried off and got my clothes back on...putting flannel pj bottoms over wet bathing suit bottoms...well that's a fun experience. I felt like I was constantly wetting myself.

The best part of the day was when they announced over the loud speakers that "The Ocean is Closed."  haha...can they do that?

We took some more 'after' pictures and then it was time to head back to the boardwalk. I spotted my dad and noticed that he was eating a slice of dad where's mine? I am STARVING!  It's past my lunch time!  So he went and got me a slice...and my diet soda to go with it...argh I hate when I do that, but it's better than the empty calories of a real coke.

So instead of sucking down hot chocolate, I was nursing a diet soda to cool me off. Whodathunk?

It was a long walk back to the car, but once again I was totally jazzed for the day. I would go back and jump in again if they hadn't "closed" the ocean.

I am amazed at the new me. The Former Fat Girl always admired the Polar Plungers, but would come up with every excuse in the book not to do it. I'm not completely fearless now, but I'm definitely out there taking chances and living life.  I am so very thankful for this second chance that I got with my body. 

When we got back to the house I was relaxing on the couch when I got the Tweet: 3,500 Plungers raised $652,000 this year. I could not be prouder to be a part of this.  In addition to raising money for Special Olympics it's a constant reminder to realize how lucky I am to have a body that works properly. Not everyone has that and I, for one, will never take that for granted again.

Have a Blessed Night.

Don't forget my Fundraising for Autism Research:

****Please note****

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.

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