Thursday, January 1, 2009

Polar Bear Plunge 2009

It all started as a light conversation with a friend last month....

Us: "what are you doing New Year's Eve?"
Her:"oh nothing, why dont you guys come over"
Us: "ok great, let us know what we should bring over"
Her: "I am going to do the Polar Bear thing New Year's Day, you want to come? You can just stay over."
Us: "Uh....... sure.......

Flash forward to 7am this morning when we woke up, heads slightly fuzzy, realizing that we had to get up soon, get dressed and actually go...... IN ...... TO ...... THE ....... OCEAN!!! I grabbed the remote and turned on the weather channel, hoping for some good news..... 20 degrees outside with a wind speed of 20mph!! The doubt quickly set in. What, are we crazy? Can we actually get hypothermia? How many layers of clothing can I swim in?

But we had committed. We had given our word last night that we would be there. I made a pact with Gaby that if I went in, she would go in and if she went in, I would go in. And really, maybe its not that bad? All those other people do it... they cant ALL be crazy. So we got our suits on, planned the layering, grabbed the sandals and towels and the comfy robe and out the door we went.

We drove up to Robert's Place in Margate, NJ around 10am and parked the car. When we walked into Robert's there were not that many people. I caught a glimpse of a couple guys in robes, fish hats and polar bear hats. Then it was getting close to the time of the march to the beach so we walked outside....

While we had been standing inside enjoying the warmth and getting caught up in the rising energy of the crowd, I had no idea so many people had gathered outside. All sizes and ages, some decked out in polar bear themed garb and others who looked ready for a weekend in the snow. Remember... 20 degrees out! At least it was a clear and sunny day, we at least had that going for us.

Then the bag piper started playing and led the procession down one block to the beach.

This Bloody Mary really made the walk a lot more bearable.

Hurray for the polar bear flannel pants

Arriving at the beach... notice the viking horns at the top of the stairs

Taking care of each other after coming out of the water

We actually did it, we survived our run into the water, but now I can't feel my toes!

And then the beach clears out.....

What other new challenges are we going to take on in 2009?

The NJ Polar Bear Plunges:

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