It all started with a half-hearted invite to my friends on Facebook..."anyone want to do the Polar Plunge with me?"...I laughed when I posted it, the absurdity of plunging into a lake in the middle of an Alaskan winter far from any reality I could ever imagine. Then Missus Heck replied. She was in! And then another friend agreed. And another...and so on and so forth.
Oooops, I couldn't back out then.
Not when all these brave and CRAZY chicks called me on it.
And so the Diva Divers were formed.
The temp was 10*F that morning. Just stepping out from that tent without our outerwear on was a struggle.
The first group of jumpers from our team.
The second group. I looked down into that dark water and prayed not to die. Seriously. The depth was about 5 feet, which of course, was a non-issue for everyone else. I, on the other hand, had much more to worry about. Will the shock of the water cause an involuntary inhale while I was completely underwater? Will my mediocre floating/pretend swimming skills be enough to get me over to the ladder?
The Emcee didn't give us much time to think about all of that, though. He counted us down, and we all just jumped in.
Hmmmm, so how would I describe it? The shock of the water instantly zapped any inkling of warmth from my body. I've gotta hand it to survival instinct. The only thing on my mind at that time (while I was hyperventilating from the cold) was to get OUT! I somehow managed to stay afloat...doggy paddled? my way to the ladder...and tried to step up. I did experience a slight delay at the ladder, my fingers were so numb/painful/frozen I couldn't quite grip onto the sides.
Being out in the open air, soaking wet, was the most painful part. Thankfully, they had hot tubs inside the tents for us to warm up in. Unfortunately, they only allowed us a ten second dip before we got kicked out to make room for the next batch of jumpers in desperate need to get warm.
After we dressed, we hung around for a little bit longer to witness our men take their turn jumping into the water.
I had always said this was a bucket list item, a once in a lifetime experience, and something I would never do again. Yet, the excited chatter about different costumes and new participants has got me to rethink my position on the subject. Never say never, right?