Monday, March 10, 2014
Robin Roberts, 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball Flashbacks Relic #BSR-RR
Yes, so, the Polar Bear Plunge. Saturday was a beautiful day, with temperatures near 60 and clear, sunny skies. The Missus and I parked at the Navy Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis and took a shuttle bus to Sandy Point State Park. We had enough time to register and do a quick once-around of the various sponsor booths and food and merchandise stands before the 1:00 PM plunge. As we reached the shore and I stripped down to my plunging gear - a "Wild Bill" Hagy Orioles promotional tee, swimming trunks, and an old pair of Airwalks that I didn't mind immersing in the icy waters of the bay, I noticed that the air coming off of the bay was a bit cooler than the 60-degree temps I'd felt elsewhere that day.
Before I knew it, the first wave of plungers was already entering - and emerging from - the water. Janet and I tentatively made our way up the sand from our initial position in the back of the crowd, and she asked if I was ready. In response, I started awkwardly chugging toward the Bay, so my wife had to remind me that we weren't supposed to run. Safety first when you're dunking yourself in a large, frigid body of water, after all.
And frigid it was. I waded in about thigh-deep, hesitated for a moment, and then squatted down to soak the rest of my body up to my chin. I popped back up as soon as I could, most of my body feeling shocked and invigorated from the icy bath, but my sneaker-covered feet were practically aching from the cold. Janet had followed me in, and asked if I was ready to go completely under and then head for the safety and warmth of our gender-specific changing tents. I was completely unprepared to dunk my head under, as we hadn't discussed anything of the sort ahead of time. I told her so, my voice raising several octaves, and she acquiesced. Maybe next year...we are planning to partake in this madness again.
By the time I'd changed into my dry clothes, I felt completely fine and still a bit exhilarated. We joined up with a friend of a friend and his wife who had also just plunged, availed ourselves of the free Wawa coffee and complimentary hot dog lunch, and then shuttled back to our car. The story ends there, so I'd like to offer one final note of thanks to the handful of kind and generous readers who made donations in my name, thereby helping out the Special Olympics. You folks are awesome.