It was an absolutely beautiful day and I feel cheated. I’d been dreading the plunge for weeks. Tried not to think about it last night. It was supposed to be miserable, painful, hard. It wasn’t. It needed to hurt. It didn’t.
I’m conflicted. I’m pissed. I’m relieved. I’m wet.
This year’s New Year's Day neighborhood traditional polar plunge, our fourth high noon splash-in-the-pond, was ruined by the weather. I know that, as you read this, many of you are watching the snow pile up. I envy you. Here, the official record keeper of our yearly madness noted 63-degree air, 50-degree pond water temperature. Downright balmy. Awful.
Boo Hoo, you say? Sue me. It's not my fault you live there.
But I figure that if you are going to do something crazy, let it be really crazy. Let it be sleeting and 28 degrees and require ice clearing before the plunge. Then you have something to talk about. Then you’ve certified your insanity. But no. Blue skies, a gentle breeze, shirtsleeve weather. You get no credit for going in on days like today. Folly wasted.
And to add insult to injury, this year we had a fire. Two, actually. Ceremonial, I suggested.
But half-naked, full submersion in 50-degree water is no picnic – I’m usually wearing waders for these kinds of dips - so our dive into the pond was not for everyone. Just the committed. Or those that need to be. And those ceremonial fires gathered the faithful, as fires often do, and kept us lunatics from bolting for the showers immediately after the dunking. The innard-warming libations, left over from last night, didn’t hurt either. Hair of the dog.
Actually, truth be told, it was really the good company that held us together. Birds of a feather shiver together.
But still. 63!? Give me a break. Where’s winter? Next year… Just wait.
I hope that it sucks then too.