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Monday, January 9, 2012


I leapt into the New Year by joining a group of people for a Polar Bear Plunge!

I headed to one of the local beaches and joined some crazy people (??) for a swim in the Pacific Ocean.  I think the dip is supposed to bring one good luck or pneumonia. Not sure which...

It was actually hard to find the group at first. I quickly scanned the beach looking for a banner or a large group of people suited up for a swim but instead found a group consisting of 10ish people kind of milling around.  Mainly, mature surfers, 2 teenage girls and a nine year old girl.  I went up to two fully clothed adults and asked if I was in the right area.  "Yes, definitely a grassroots project, eh."  Ten people... yes, one could say that.  Eyeing their clothing I questioned if they were going in the water.  "No way! It's too cold!"  Uhmm, isn't that what a polar bear plunge is?  Anyway, I walked around the group trying to figure out who was the one in charge.  I heard the teenagers discussing whether to stay or call it a day.  I turned to them saying, "You have to stay, that would leave me as the only female!"  Laughing they agreed, plus their parents said they weren't leaving.  As the hour drew near the group increased in size, fully clothed parents who decided to sacrifice their children to the freezing water.  A man clad in black swim trunks and t-shirt called attention.  He was part of a missionary group that goes to Malawi.  He was here to raise money to build wells for the family's there. (I had donated the night before so I knew all that he was saying).  As I scanned the beach for any other crazies like me, I noticed a life guard approaching us as well as a life guard boat anchoring off shore in our area.  Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, I started thinking.  Before we entered the frigid water someone said a prayer for all of us and the beautiful day that we were having.  After, people starting shedding their cozy warm sweatshirts and headed for the water.  Watching the crowd run in, I hesitated a moment when people started shrieking from the chill and then ran in myself.  Suddenly, it dawned on me as the waves were splashing up that the water was not AS cold as I thought it would be.  Now don't get me wrong the water was freezing but the air temp and water temp were about equal so it wasn't a total shock to the system.  After the last person emerged from the tide, a pod of dolphins swam by!  (that's the picture in the lower right corner)  All in all, it was a wonderful way to start the year and I will definitely do it again. Maybe I'll head for colder water next year.

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