Snow piles averaging 3 - 4 feet created an icy wall along boat ramp to the Boulder Resevoir. Almost 300 brave/crazy/twisted (take your pick) souls lined up beginning at the water's edge. Some were dressed warmly, others shivered violently in nothing but their tighty-whities (GROSS!).
I wasn't there as a spectator or photographer. The Nikon stayed safely at home.
I stood paitently in line waiting to join one of the most bizzarre clubs - the Boulder Polar Bear Club.
Yes, I agreed to take the plunge into 35 degree Farenheit water on New Year's Day. I've been in pretty cold water, hailing from Pennsylvania, but nothing within 20 degrees of this.
In Latvia, I jumped into an icy pond touted to be barely above freezing. Oh, it was shocking, but I'm thinking the Latvians were off by 20 or 30 degrees. That water had to be in the 40's or 50's.
Event organizers only allowed 12 people to jump at a time, so the paramedics who were in the water wearing dry suits, could find anyone who shocked. We all had to sign waivers to release any of the event coordinators and Boulder of liability if we died. I think it was stated in six different ways that one could die from such cold water.
A Denver DeeJay emceed the event and saw this Polar Bear virgin as fresh meat. He asked me what I was expecting, "A million tiny razor blades slicing through my skin as the water envelopes my body," I stated. I also mentioned the Bear Valley Choir.
I held hands with Sarah, as the deejay counted to four (?). When one is about to do something extremely uncomfortable, one cannot think. There is no time to think. So I jumped. Into 7.5 feet of the coldest water I've ever felt. 9 inch long talons ripped through my chest, tearing the very breath and voice from my lungs. I surfaced unable to gasp.
"Swim! Swim!" My brain screamed at my limbs who answered..."Huh?"
Somehow I swam the 25 yard span of water to the shoreline. I can't say I remember the sprint through the cone-zone to the steaming hot tub. Breath and voice returned as I sank my numb self into the "hot" water. The water was actually luke-warm to a non-frozen person. Within minutes I felt normal again.
Later that evening I called my mom who freaked on me. "Darcie, that is the STUPIDEST thing a person could do! You could have DIED! You have a BABY and a HUSBAND! WHY? I'm glad you called me AFTER you lived to tell about it because I would have SHOT through the phone to strangle you MYSELF!"
Why did I do something most people deem the epitomy of idiocy? Cuz I could. Never done it before. I would do it again. How often do you get to do something for the first time?
I also wanted to acheive something so unexpected and "brave" in order to make some radical changes in my life.
Below is a picture of me in a bathing suit. You may want to have a puke-bag nearby when you see it. I didn't recognize myself. I cried when I saw it and debated as to whether or not to put it forever on the internet. Since the elbow incident, I've put on nearly 50 lbs. My doctor told me I need to loose at least that much. I've been feeling pretty crappy about how I look, but have not known what course of action to take. Can't afford a gym membership, and even if I could, childcare is an issue. Can't afford Weight Watchers either ($12/week).
On the Discovery Channel, New Year's Eve, I watched a show on extreme weight loss. One guy hopped on his bike and rode across the US. Dang, I'd LOVE to do that, but again I have a baby and a hubby and the expense????
Some other chick took up marathons. I'd rather jump into an icy lake and stay.
Another chick became an expert belly-dancer. $, baby, time.
So, what to do?
My isses with food have become emotional. Chronic pain and stress over the past few years drove me to the kitchen. John said he wouldn't support anything I did unless I addressed the internal "heart/soul" problem.
I've committed to join a Thin Within group at my church and do The Makers Diet
Putting that pic of myself on the web will make people aware of what I intend to do, and will create a sense of accountability. I'm not a resolution gal, but my weight is impacting my health and my ability to do the things God calls me to do. I'll keep you posted.
Maybe next year, you all can Polar Bear it with less of me wherever you live!
The "jumping" dock.
I'm in the purple fuzzy on the left side of the
photo. To my left (in the photo) is Sean, Sarah and Caitlin.