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The Plunge
Posted March 02, 2004 at 09:20:15 AM by Bean

I took the Plunge.  That's right, the Polar Bear Plunge.  Saturday afternoon, before heading out for a night of birthday party shenanigans, Stefanie and I jumped off of the warf at Joes Crab Shack into the 38 degree Ohio River.

The 2004 SOKY Polar Bear Plunge was a benefit for the Special Olympics of Kentucky... Stef and I raiesed $111 combined and earned the right to throw our bodies into thermal shock in front of a crowd of onlookers.  There were about 700 jumpers total, and probably a few thousand spectators.  Every jumper got properly introduced to the crowd before plunging.  It went something like this:

Announcer: "Here's Ben Schy and Stefanie McClain from New Albany, they raised $111 dollars and decided to do this because it sounded like a good idea at the time.  Does it still seem like a good idea guys?"
Stef: "No."
Announcer: "Okay... read to go?  One, two, three!"
Me (underwater, thinking): "FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!"

Needless to say, it was much colder than I was expecting.  Now, I like the cold, but this was really darn cold.  I did a classic cannon bean, and the second my scantily clad body hit the nasty Ohio River water, my brain became scrambled.  I popped up, looked around, and spotted a volunteer who was waving me his way.  As I tried to swim to him, I realized that I could barely move.  I eventually made it to the ladder, but had trouble getting my foot up on the rung... none of my joints wanted to bend.  There were several volunteers shouting at me by this time, telling me to step up with my left foot, grab their hand with my right hand and step up and out to the right.  After a few seconds, I was able to comply and get out.  Once out, the shock faded quickly (it was a nice day).  Stef and I dried off and immediately drove home and took showers.  The Ohio river water stinksted.

Good times.

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