DATE: New Year’s Day 2016
LOCATION: Smuggler’s Beach, Yarmouth
TIME: High Noon
MISSION: My First Polar Plunge…. EVER
You have probably heard of “Polar Plunges”. You may have even taken the plunge yourself. I have not. The thought of diving into icy-cold water on a freezing cold day does not rank high on my Bucket List. Actually, a Polar Plunge was not on my life experience list at all. I was volunteered. (Thank you, Matt Pitta and the rest of the CCB-Media staff).
Since I was new to the frigid tradition, I did not know there are RULES. Some are suggested rules, some are guidelines and some are strictly enforced. I will share them with you, just in case you find a Polar Plunge in your future:
1. WEAR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE: Bare skin may seem like poor planning, but layers of clothing like oversized t-shirts will actually FREEZE as you make your way back to shore and across the beach. Wet / Dry suits are highly discouraged. The crowd actually “booed” someone off the beach for showing up actually PREPARED for cold water swimming.
2. HAVE SOMETHING ON YOUR FEET: Water shoes are best. I opted for old running sneakers, which quickly turned to lumps of cold, heavy, squishy, sand-covered wet cement.
3. GO WITH A FRIEND: Peer pressure works! If Mary-Sarah from the MSPCA wasn’t here, I have no doubt that I would have slunk into the crowd and back to the parking lot without ever stepping foot in the water.
4. HAVE A TRUSTWORTHY FRIEND READY WITH YOUR TOWEL OR BLANKET: I was left shivering cold and wet when I returned to my starting point as Matt Pitta was only interested in getting audio clips from my fellow plungers. –It was Ralphie Marino who finally worked through the crowd with a blanket for me.
5. HAVE A CAMERA: The entire event takes only a few minutes and you will want to remember it. I wore a GoPro. I wanted to have a record so that I don’t have to do it again.
6. REMEMBER IT’S FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Most Polar Plunges raise funds and awareness for various organizations. Alcohol is NOT a good reason to jump into freezing cold water. Besides, you will sober up VERY quickly once you hit the water, and your hands will be shaking too much to hold a cup when you get out.
Would you like to experience MY Polar Plunge which was sponsored by The Friends of the Yarmouth Council on Aging?
WARNING: There is adult language in this video and expletives that can only be understood by someone who has taken part in one of these events. Here is the link: