New Things: Do A Polar Plunge

Every year I make a list of new things I want to try and do. Some of those things are challenging, some are shockingly mundane. You can check out previous shenanigans here.

In case you were wondering how to impress/terrify everyone at a New Year’s Eve party, your answer is this:
Tell them you’re going to jump into a frozen lake at 9:00 am the next morning.
All the men will inadvertently clutch their nether regions and the women will probably narrow their eyes at your over their beer.
But here’s the thing, you guys:  It’s not really that bad or hard or scary.
There is no talent or fitness required (you just fall/jump into about eight feet of water), you duck under a rope and swim about 20 feet. You climb up a slippery ladder, you’re cold and then you’re inside and totally warmed up within about a minute and a half.
But it’s fun! And you feel totally invigorated!  And allofasudden you’re more brave and interesting than you were an hour before!  It’s the easiest shortcut to awesome that I’ve found recently.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Have any of you done a polar plunge?  Would you?

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  1. moilisa

    Well done Sarah!!

    I will do it. Only because it's 40degree Celcius currently where I am (Perth, WA). Maybe I will chicken out when I got there, tho =p

  2. Han

    I've never done a polar plunge but I jumped into the swimming pool in Turkey at the end of October a few years ago and the water was that cold that it took my breathe away and my feet and hands were hurting by the time I'd swum back to the edge and got out.

    I thought I was being so cool and such a dare devil then everyone laughed at me given how cold I was lol. Add to that, two other girls who were with us jumped in with me and then I had to rescue them as the cold water had scared them and they were both in a bit of a state.

  3. Jennifer

    I do the penguin plunge every year for the special olympics fundraiser. It is basically the same thing but we dive into the freezing cold ocean. It's really fun because everyone goes in waves, so you sprint into the ocean and then dive under and run back out! I am from New Hampshire so in the winter the water is brutal!

  4. S.G.

    I would totally do it! Well, I can't really do a polar plunge here in Portugal ;), but some people go and dive in the ocean on New Year's Day. I'll have to give it a try!

  5. Mama Smith

    Brave! I watched a bunch of people do something similar last winter and I just thought there was no way 🙂 I love snow but when it comes to water it has to be warm and relaxing.

  6. Mollie @ Jennings Brae Bank Farm

    Brrr…I've never done it when there was ice on a lake. But, I used to live next to Lake Superior and jumping in that lake at just about any time of year is a shock to the system! Love it!

  7. Meredith

    How incredibly random. I just did my first ever polar plunge on January 21. It was for charity. My boyfriend and I collected donations for the Special Olympics Ohio, then were rewarded by rushing into icy water. It didn't require swimming, though, as we only had to go up to our necks. I found the waiting-to-go-in period colder than the actual water part! I think it all happens so fast and is so exciting you don't even notice the cold. After getting out, it just feels like pins and needles in your legs. I then rushed into a heated tent to change and ta-da! I have a cool story, too. Haha.

  8. Amber

    Wow. That is crazy! I don't think I could do it! I would be wayyy to scared. I absolutely hate the cold. Good for you, though 🙂

  9. Jenny

    I love how organized and safe it seems there! I'd totally do it there! I've not done it because here our options are to jump off a low bridge into water with currents. And rocks and hiding underwater logs.

  10. Sarah Von Bargen

    Jenny, I excel at calculated risk-taking. I only do clean, well-organized scary, brave stuff 😉

    Well, usually.

  11. nova

    Well I'd imagine that'd actually be really good for a hangover too! And it's a really cool way to start a new year.

  12. Stela

    That's pretty awesome!
    I wish I was brave enough to do it. I imagine myself jumping into the cold water and going into shock and drowning.
    Haha, so dramatic.

  13. Maggie

    This is like minutes from my home. I love it when you do Minnesota stuff!

  14. Bekuh

    You are so brave! I could never jump into water that is that cold, but I think it is AWESOME that you did. Way to go girl.

  15. jess

    that picture is awesome. seriously.

  16. Samantha

    Wow. That is impressive. Plus loving the photo.

  17. Annika

    Well done!!! Doing the Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver is on my bucket list, so I am glad to hear that it was not too bad to immerse yourself in freezing water!

  18. laco

    sky diving is my polar plunge. but, dollface…kudos! that takes some ovarian fortitude and i commend you!!!

  19. Nessbow

    I would totally give this a shot. You're right, it would be over in an instant, but certainly worth it for the bragging rights.

  20. Laura Jane

    My old high school has a tradition of all the final-year students jumping into the pool in the middle of winter (dressed up in crazy outfits of course!). It was so much fun! Freezing at first, then you get used to it a bit, and then everyone gets out and the younger students wrap you in warm towels and make you hot chocolate!

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