Over the weekend, Jen (good friend) and I participated in the Polar Plunge at Lake Springfield for Special Olympics. We (in addition to other family and friends that weren't able to make it) are Ainsley's Army (note the pink camo shirts on Jen and myself).
Ainsley is Jen's middle child and first daughter (makes Jen sound like the President if I would have capitalized that), and she is an absolute dollface. When she gets older, she'll be able to participate in Special Olympics if she chooses. We're helping keep it running until she gets there.
The day wasn't so bad, temperature-wise.
The water? A balmy less-than-forty-degrees-Fahrenheit.
We were one of the last teams to go due to our small size (just the two of us), but we did get to run with Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick.
Jen and Ainsley and I
Notes for next year:
Bring several towels.
Hand warmers (for the pocketses afterwards).
Jen - don't wear the Crocs or you'll lose them again. :)
They were right (the first few teams) - the water's not really all that bad because your heart's racing and you're moving constantly to get yourself out to the raft (for bragging rights...) and back to the beach without losing fingers or toes or shoes or your plunger (there was a group of guys that had Bloody Marys in new toilet plungers. Plungers...for the Plungers...he he he).
Until the air hits you coming out of the water and you're soaked to the skin in less than forty degree water and all the oxygen in your lungs is sucked out by the air.
When you get out, everything starts shivering and you're trying to make your way up the mud-slippery hill to be able to change into warm dry clothes.
But the bathrooms are standing room only, and no one is in any hurry to leave the warmth.
So you change outside whilst your friend holds your towel as a makeshift curtain in a corner.
And your underwear sticks to your still-wet ass and your toes are turning a pale shade of blue and all you want is a hot toddy (or something) to warm you up.
Until you look around you and see the kids and adults that take part in Special Olympics that you are helping raise money for.
And you realize something.
It was worth it.
"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
~Special Olympics Athlete's Oath
For you, Bean.
Your toe-freezing, camo-wearing, Polar-Plunging