The Polar Plunge

It’s 7:30am on a Friday morning and I am wondering two things.

First, how on earth did Mr. Sohn get me to wake up and go to the pool at this ungodly hour (freshmen, after mucking is over any time before 7:45 is considered Satanic?) Secondly, why is everyone else here?

“Everyone” actually refers to Laura Kirkland ’15, Julia Girardoni ’15, Steven Jump ’17, Isabel Ouweleen ’17, and the head of this endeavor, Owen Yeager ’15.

Yeager took over the event from last year’s leaders Justin Myles and Will Muir, both CdeP 2013. He says:

“I view the plunge as an Olympic level event that tests all aspects of your physical prowess: it begins by challenging your resistance to the frigid water how quickly you can swim to the side. There is then an upper body section where you pull yourself out of the water. Finally, there is a dash where you have to challenge your frozen muscles to run as fast as you can to the locker room, where the last stage of physical tests lie waiting: how long you can endure the scalding heat of the showers.”

Students enjoy the morning Polar Plunge. Photo Credit Anasazi Levy
Students enjoy the morning Polar Plunge. Photo Credit Anasazi Levy

Before I myself witnessed this event, I shared the opinion of a lot of Thacher students about Polar Plunge.

“They are pointless,” says Colin Troughton ’16.

“It’s stupid and I don’t do it cuz [sic] why would I? Chlorine is bad for my hair,” adds Lexie Kirkwood ’14.

Arianna Finger ’15 wonders, “what will happen when it actually gets cold? I don’t like the weather.”

This morning however, my mind was changed. For one, it’s not actually that cold in the morning (my car thermometer said it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit), and it is very pretty; the sunlight on the mountains is very Insta-worthy.

Mostly though, it just looked like fun. That moment of anticipation before you jump into the water, the screaming of your fellow Polar Plungers as you swim across to the other side of the pool, the frantic scrambling for your towel, the laughing and yes, the complaining that it is cold.

So next Friday morning I might actually be among those that brave the waters of the Thacher pool.

If nothing more than to be able to shout alongside Laura Kirkland, “My feet are numb, but I feel so alive!”

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