Polar Plunge: A personal experience


Technique is key. Run in, run out and get warm fast. I was prepared to run into the frigid Atlantic Ocean with my family for a good cause.

                The idea to run in to the ocean in Long Beach, NY on Super bowl Sunday started 16 years ago by my cousin, Pete Meyers and his friend, Kevin McCarthy as a fun activity to do before the Super bowl.

As time went on, people became interested in Meyers and McCarthy’s swim and the two friends decided to start an annual “Super bowl splash” with their friend, Mike Bradley in honor of Bradley’s late son, Paulie Bradley.

 By 2000, Meyers and McCarthy turned their swim into a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish foundation of Metro New York.

                The event started at 1:30p.m., the weather was sunny and 40 degrees and the water temperature was 34 degrees.

The morning consisted of exploring the boardwalk and dancing to beach music along with thousands of New Yorkers.

                Finally, it was time to go into the water. The horn sounded and thousands of people sprinted into the Atlantic Ocean. My family and I then gathered together and prepared to run into the ocean. The DJ then announced that the founders were going into the water and we all started running.

                It didn’t hit me that I was going into the water until then and I looked at my cousin and screamed “oh my god, I can’t. Too much, too soon!” She grabbed my hand and we hesitantly ran into the ocean screaming like little girls.

                Once I got over the initial shock of the freezing water, it was fine, but I had to search for a wave to dive under because I would not be considered a “polar bear” unless I went under the water all the way.

                I dove under a wave, screamed and ran out of the 34 degree water as fast as possible. I then had another task to complete: make sure my feet don’t go numb.

                I was freezing cold and ran all the way to the top of the beach, jumped on to a blanket and dried my feet. I then thought my feet were okay and I wrapped myself in a towel. However, I was wrong and I couldn’t feel my feet for an hour. I had never been so cold in my life.

                Overall the experience was amazing and I would definitely do it again. Not because of the experience, but because the event is for an amazing cause that helps raise funds for Make-A-Wish which grants wishes to children diagnosed with a life threating medical conditions every year.