More than two months into the year, I’ve finally checked the first item off my bucket list. Last Saturday, I jumped into Lake Michigan with hundreds of other adventurous souls as a part of the Special Olympics polar plunge.
My 6-person jump team met at McKinley Marina in downtown Milwaukee at 12:30 for our 12:45 plunge time. After a quick “before” picture, we took off hats, jackets, sweatshirts and pants and hopped in line. This, to me, was the worst part. The wind conveniently seemed to pick up as we were waiting, and I began to regret my decision to ditch my T-shirt.
After about 10 minutes, it was our turn. The six of us lined up at the top of the boat launch ramp, and a local DJ read off some information about our team for the crowd. After a few obligatory Clay Matthews poses, the DJ began the countdown (and I began my own): 3 (this was a bad decision)…. 2 (hurry up already!)… 1 (whyyyy)…. and we were off.
I splashed into the water and was immediately numb. After a quick dunk of my head, I beelined for the shore, and in less than 30 seconds it was all over.
I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or the fact that I was probably half numb before I went in, but overall the plunge wasn’t that bad at all. The thrill of doing something kind of crazy with a group of friends all in the name of a good cause made for a fun experience – one that I think I’m going to have to make a yearly tradition.
Here are some photos from the event:
And a video of the plunge: