The Polar Bear Plunge, Jan 1, 2011, Lake Pleasant, Olympic Peninsula, Washington State.
Heather Wasankari, whom her mother is calling "Chicken Heather!" had every excuse for only running in to her hips. She has about as much meat on her as a chopstick. She's part Apache; not exactly a people evolved for plunging out of a bitter wind into near-freezing water on a mid-winter day.
I made the mistake of telling Heather we'd do this about three months ago. Never promise a kid something you don't mean to carry out, because they'll remember and hold you to it. Anyway, we got ourselves all whipped up for this over several Facebook exchanges, and then we went and did it!
I didn't hang around for a photo lineup once I had the robe off; I just led the charge into that awful liquid burn. Heather's friend Alyssa grabbed her and dragged her in. It took me a week to recover from the cold; I couldn't get my core temperature up at all.
Wish I'd taken the girls back on my errands to Forks; when there, I kept running into kids and adults who'd done this insane thing, and we were all like a bunch of little veterans, high-fiving and exulting over this act of insanity.