The Hoo-Ha Freezes in Hell AKA The Polar Bear Plunge Recap!

freezing unmentionables, frostbite on my unmentionablesWell, we did it. We plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of January.

And the verdict of it is? It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It definitely helped that the air temperature was 46 degrees–and I am extremely grateful that God smiled on our stupid asses and waited until this week to send the current deep freeze which we are experiencing on the US east coast–but that said, it’s still no picnic to be standing on a New Jersey beach in nothing but a bathing suit in the middle of Winter.

I woke up on Plunge Day and my nerves immediately started twisting my guts into knots. The first thing that I did was yank my hair into a set of messy pony tails because when you are going to plunge into a cold ocean you really don’t give a fuck about the world seeing you looking like the dirtbag that you really are.

polar bear plunge wildwoodAfter a very *ahem* entertaining hour and a forty minute drive to the shore, my mother, brother, Jewels and I arrived at the check-in point at the Wildwood Convention Center. I noticed that I was shaking–not unusual for me with my arrhythmia–but I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t my blood sugar dropping so I crammed a piece of a bagel into my face despite my jumping tummy. Finally at 12:30, the organizers began to herd us all out to the beach. Now, the thing that I don’t like about Wildwood is that the beach is hella long–you have a decent hike to get to the water line–so I’m not surprised that they made us move out that early since the Plunge was at 1pm sharp. The problem with this was that you had half an hour of just chilling freezing on a beach, staring at the water and thinking ‘what the fuck am I doing?‘.

The plungers had their own roped off area where we were gathered into our huge group to countdown and then take off for our freezing Hell together. I had noticed in our “Plunge Packet” of info that it suggested that if it was your first plunge to not go near the front of the group so that you could go into the water at your own pace… so who wants to guess where we stationed ourselves in the group? Yup. Right near the front.

polar bear plunge wildwoodIn typical Kat fashion, my countdown was off and as I was screaming “Four!” the pack started taking off. Nonetheless I grabbed Jewels’ hand and began running, too. I’ll be honest and say that I kinda, sorta don’t remember details about the run because I was so jacked on adrenaline and just determined to get as far into the ocean as I could before cold/nerves/my heart gave out that I went on auto-pilot. I remember screaming as we approached the water at full speed. I remember losing my flip flops as soon as we entered the water and not even considering to stop and pick them up. And then the next thing I knew the waves were crashing around my waist and I was only a few feet from the wall of life guards stationed in the ocean at chest height to keep the plungers from going too far.

I’d made it!

I turned around to Jewels, held my fingers up to do a “1, 2, 3!”, grabbed my nose and then dropped my full body into the water as a swell came. As soon as I stood back up, I started to feel dizzy and was having trouble breathing. Jewels had stood up too but since she couldn’t feel her feet she ended up falling back into the water for a second dip. She managed to gain her balance and we started trudging back to the beach. I fucking hate admitting this but I was really struggling and it was only the thought that if I passed out that it would be into freezing water that kept me upright. Jewels may not have known it at the time, but she was holding me up during our celebration hug when got to the shore. The good news though? When you are about to pass out you feel warm so that when we reached the beach, while most people were beating it for the towels and robes, I was just like “Nah, I’m good, don’t need the towel right now”. I eventually did wrap myself up and then we began the hike back to the convention center where they would have lunch for us.

When we reached the ramp to get onto the boardwalk there was a huge clot of people made up of both plungers and spectators making their way on the boards.
“I think that if you didn’t plunge that you should have to wait and let us dripping wet people go first!” I complained to Jewels.
A lady in front of us who was bundled in a hat, gloves and jacket turned around and stepped aside so that we could walk ahead of her. I was shocked because I spout off so much goofy shit that I’m used to people not taking me seriously, so I felt like a jerk and started stammering and apologizing. The woman was really, really sweet though and just smiled and told me that I was completely right. (I still felt like an ass though.)

The food at the lunch was, um, rather… not good. But it was food and it was warm and it as nice of them to provide us with lunch in the first place so I didn’t complain–especially because each plunger could bring a guest to eat for free, too. While we were eating the Special Olympics athletes came on the stage and did a group bow to say thank you, and if the chicken soup didn’t warm you up then that certainly did.

Believe it or not, even though this entry is long, this is actually the condensed account of The Polar Bear Plunge. There was so much that happened, and it was just such an incredibly fun experience. To help convey more of what it was like, we shot a lot of video and then put it all together into a mini movie. It’s long, but I think it’s entertaining enough to get you through 17 minutes. 😉 (FYI, watch to the end for an Easter egg–especially if you’re a fan of my dog, Kira.)

Finally, another huge thank you to our supporters. I’ll be putting your links in my sidebar very soon!

PS-This is so Number 11 on my List of Shameless Shit: “Dress to show some skin” because putting on a bathing suit is daunting enough, but you have to be completely shameless to put one on in the Winter when you’re pale and not only at your “Winter weight” but at your “writer weight” where you have been too busy with edits to hit the gym. Not. Attractive.

The Tale of The Flaming Buns

Okay, I admit it: I have a tendency to torture myself. Whether it’s setting my own broken hand, starving myself in a seven day detox or getting all of the hair ripped off of my nethers in a Jewish Community Center, I have a special proclivity for putting myself through some ridiculous shit. I would like to point out, however, that in every most cases I have a legit reason for torturing myself. For example I was forced by a lack of medical attention to set my own hand and the detox was bolster my health and the Brazilian wax was necessary because it was the start of swimsuit season.

See? Good reasons for insanity in all most cases. And such it is too with The Flaming Buns that I had a good reason for torturing myself.

If you’ve watched my videos on youtube then you can probably tell that I’m constantly sniffling between perpetual allergies and/or a cold. One of the things that really sucks about this–aside from the obvious abundance of snot–is that because of my cardiac issues I’m not supposed to take regular allergy or cold medicine so I usually just suffer through it. However the other day I was scrolling through Pinterest–where all good ideas come from–and I found a homeopathic cold remedy in the form of a Ginger detox bath which promised to help you sweat out your afflictions. The next thing I knew I was grabbing my keys to make a trip to the supermarket.

“Where are you going? It’s dark out!” my mother exclaimed as I headed toward the front door. (My mother is from the school of thought that females should not go out after twilight or they will surely be accosted by ghoulies, beasties and long-legged nasties.)
“To get some ground ginger,” I replied.
“Why do you need ground ginger at 9:30 at night?”
“Because I’m going to bathe in it.”
And as she is so used to doing, my mother just accepted that I had said something inane.

After aquiring the ground ginger without being kidnapped–though I told my mother that I fought off a hooligan who tried to shiv me and an old man who offered me candy–I dug the baking soda out of the cupboard and went upstairs to brew a Gingered Kat Stew.

I ran the tub full of hot water, added the ginger which turned the water a disgusting shade of brown, shook approximately a third of a cup of baking soda into the mix, eased myself into the mess, grabbed a book and let myself cook. It only took about ten minutes before I started to sweat but you’re supposed to soak for at least forty minutes to get the full effect of the ginger so I continued to soak and read my book.

Pikachu Spanking gifI’m not sure exactly when it happened but at some point I looked up from my book and realized that my ass was hot–and not “hot” as in “cute”, “hot” as in “I feel like I’m sitting in a vat of salsa”. While I had been occasionally swishing the water around in the tub, a healthy amount of the ginger had settled to the bottom and I found that I was sitting in a layer of pure ginger. I swished the water around some more but it was too late; my buns were officially on fire. It wasn’t exactly painful though so I went back to reading and sweated out the remainder of the time, however by the time I got out of the tub, my ass was numb. It was one of the most fucking bizarre sensations I have ever experienced… and of course I made worse by smacking myself and then laughing like a bloody lunatic because I didn’t feel anything when I did it and my mind instantly made a dozen filthy jokes. But aside from amusing the hell out of me, I will say that this ginger soak did actually clear up my stuffy, sniffly nose, and not only that, but I went to sleep soon after I got out of the bath and didn’t wake up once during the night, which is very rare for me.

polar plunge logoAnd in a hilarious turn of irony my next tale of maschicsm is already in the works except that instead of burning ass, I’m going to be freezing it off. Tomorrow, 1/19/13, I’m going to be jumping into the semi-freezing Atlantic Ocean with my Gal-Friday of insanity, Jewels, and my brother Mike (known on here as “Gator”). Again there is logical reason for this madness and we are not arbitrarily jumping for my hypothermic fun of it but because we joined the Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics. Jewels and I have already our minimum donation goals thanks to some brilliant peeps who I’ll be linking to their blogs/twitters as my featured Super Peeps next month, but my brother hasn’t reached his goal yet, so I’m extending my thanks of pimping to anyone who contributes to his goal, too. For a minimum donation of 5 bucks toward Gator’s/Mike’s goal, I’ll shout you out in the post I do about the Plunge and also have the link to your blog on my sidebar in all of its glory for thirty days (or more usually).

But before you think that I’ve gone soft and am helping my brother because I’m a nice person or something, let me clarify that by donating to my brother you are actually still helping me because if Gator/Mike doesn’t reach his goal, he can’t plunge and I will feel much better about plunging into icy water if I can look over and laugh at my brother’s freezing ass.

Finally I wanted to add that by donating, not only will you be helping me, but you will also get bragging rights that you personally helped me in my latest tale of what-the-fuckery.

How can you resist that, right?

(And this is Number 25 on the List of Shameless Shit: Ask for help.)