Well, I just got another item off my bucket list.  For some strange reason, I’ve wanted to do a Polar Bear Dip since I was a little kid.  Luck behold, there was one today in Chippawa (near Niagara Falls).  Yes, I’m a wee bit weird.  Mike and I arrived at the Chippawa Boat Launch Ramp to register around 11:00 this morning.  First, we stopped at Timmies for a nice, warm coffee:


Then over to Chippawa:

Nothing like showing up to an event, surrounded by fire and rescue trucks and personnel:

I raised almost $100 through folks at work, my mother, aunt and Mike.  The funds went to St. John Ambulance and Chippawa Public Docks.  Thanks, everyone!

This cute, shivering polar bear was standing next to the registration tables:

Here are some of our joyous rescuers (hopefully not needed):

The water rescue team got into position.  It was kinda good to see the water level:

I decided yesterday that my goal was just to go in up to my waist, then get the heck outta there.  For some reason, I changed my mind while I was standing with my fellow dippers, that I was going to put my head under.  Go big or go home.  Here’s the four of us, getting psyched to run forth and freeze:

Could I be any more pale?

Finally, our wave was given the signal to go.  Mike took a video, which I will be posting in my video section.  One of us females kept saying “Oh God, oh God….”  When my feet hit the water, it felt like blades going into them.  I have very sensitive skin, especially to extreme temperatures – just an MS thing.  I knew I had to keep going as I would never forgive myself for not going all the way.  I got in just past my waist then stuck my head in.  My hair kinda floated on the surface:

Wow, that hurt!  Kept smiling though:

Poor Mike told me after that he thought I tripped at first, as I said I wouldn’t be putting my head under.  Sorry!

Unfortunately (again, MS related), my leg muscles seized up and I had a hard time straightening up then walking forward.  Was able to force them to move, although I did grab onto the arm of the rescuer to help pull me up.  Then a cheerful wave to the crowd (gave me another second to get my legs working again):

Wow, that was crazy!  I went back to Mike and we headed over to the changing trailers.  One for females and one for males.  The only thing that really bothered me was a guy that walked into the female’s trailer.  He said he was getting his clothes from his wife who was in there. Not impressed, as were most of the other girls.  Anyway, after changing, the shivering really kicked in.  The pain in my hands and feet was really bad.

All of the polar bears were given free noms at the Boat House restaurant, just down the road.  I was quite happy to pose with a rye and diet Coke:

They had a great  DJ and entertainer there, Robert (I think he said Tanis, but I could be mistaken – my bad!)  Good times.  I had pizza and Mike ordered this awesome omelette:

So that was my joyous experience today!  Took about an hour to thaw, but totally worth it.

Today’s symptoms: Felt pretty good minus some pretty sharp pains in my hands.  Needless to say, I was very fatigued after my little dip today.  I’ll feel better after a good rest.

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