The Unbridled Pragmatist
smart enough to know how dumb we are

Taking The Plunge

Cold.  Bitter Cold.  Imagine a thousand pins piercing your skin at once combined with the tingle from hitting your funny bone with a crowbar.  In a meat locker.  In Greenland. 

That is my best attempt at describing the cold of jumping into 37 degree water.  The Chesapeake Bay, long my friend, dealt me a serious blow this weekend as I participated in the Polar Bear Plunge.  A charity fundraiser for Special Olympics Maryland, the Polar Bear Plunge is the culmination of 10,000 like minded lunatics jumping into the bay at Sandy Point State Park. 

The cold aside the day was a blast.  Arriving in the parking lot around 10:30am to tailgate for a 3:00pm swim was probably a little aggressive, although now that I have completed the swim I realize the early arrival was absolutely necessary.  We played beer pong, tossed a football, fretted over how cold we were going to be while the guys from Baltimore sported Ravens gear and played lacrosse (like I’d expect anything else).  The tailgate was a lot of fun, and the girls that set everything up did a terrific job.  

The anxiety over the pending swim was obvious, girls freaking out about temperatures and shaved legs while I settled my own fears with a few pulls of Jameson.  We boarded shuttle buses to the swim site, again so many people we had to park in a satellite lot, meeting other swimmers.  Upon arrival clothes were removed and the realization of the event finalized.  Whatever romantic impressions I had of raising money for Special Olympics by a chilly swim in the Bay were quickly swept away as soon as I was on the beach in a pair of shorts.  The cold blasts you in the gut and the wind comes along to sucker punch you in the eye. 

Finally the countdown to the Plunge; thousands of people, standing one on top of another, waiting to get into near freezing water.  A horn blares and everyone is going in.  Not sure if it was the Jameson, the cold, or the people who bailed out after touching the water but within seconds there were bodies everywhere.  The scene made the evacuation of the Titanic look organized.  In my ubiquitous grace I promptly fell, landed on somebody, and figured I might as well go under.  I swam for about 2 seconds, got up and booked it back to shore.  I made love to a warm towel, drying as fast as possible, screaming to anybody who would listen how cold the water was (master of the obvious).

Thank you to everybody who supported me and my team in this years Plunge.  I was able to raise more than $500 for Special Olympics and collectively the event raised over $3 Million; a great day for a great cause.  And the craziest part?  I can’t wait til next year.


One Response to “Taking The Plunge”

  1. Well, I guess that this is one way to raise money for charity. I can think of a few easier ones that appeal more to me, but thank you. I work with a local Special Olympics team in my spare time and it is a great cause! Maybe I’ll try to talk everyone here at Chester’s to join you next year. I think the tailgating appeals the most to me, not the bone-chilling, sub-freezing, plundge!

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