Ok, Winter, it's go-time. I'll see all your polar vortices and raise you a Polar Plunge... "A Polar Plunge? What's that?" Well, it's a group of people doing exactly what you shouldn't do anywhere close to the winter months: diving into the frigid waters of a nearby lake, ocean or body of water. That's right, there's a whole cadre of folks across the nation (the world, in fact) that willingly thrust themselves headlong into the icy winter waters that mother nature has tried oh-so-hard to prevent us from doing with a solid foot-thick covering of ice. Well, that's not enough to keep some folks out...
Sure, the Scandinavians have made a (crazy) habit of doing this for centuries, but here in the US this phenomenon is rapidly gaining popularity over the last couple of decades. I'm sure you may well find that hard to believe...until I tell you why.
This seasonal endeavor is done with a higher purpose in mind, such that - as the Polar Plunge adage goes - everyone really is "freezin' for a reason". Special Olympics has been at the center of the Polar Plunge craze since the beginning and this particular Polar Plunge in Fishkill, NY, which benefits Special Olympics NY, is one of the largest in the nation with over 1,000 divers. Donations go to serve over 60,000 athletes in the area, making Special Olympics New York the largest program in the United States and the sixth largest program in the world doing amazing work with children and adults with intellectual disabilities every single day of the year.
Also exciting for me was being accompanied by my fiancee, with huge, encouraging sign in-hand. It was wonderful to have a warm hug and towel waiting after completing my perfect-form cannonball into the crisp waters.
Have you taken the Polar Plunge? If so, share your fun (and frigid) story with us!