Freezin’ for a Reason, Coney Island New Years Polar Bear Swim
On a beautiful New Years Day 2015, Fluff watched and wondered why we packed up towels, swim caps and a change of clothes. She wondered why I was walking about in my robe, thermal socks and water booties. Starting 2015 off with a splash, we were heading to Coney Island for the Annual New Years Polar Bear Plunge!
The beach was packed with fellow weirdos and spectators of said weirdos. All this hullabaloo was for a good cause. Pledging plungers raised about $50,000 for Camp Sunshine, a retreat in Maine for children with life threatening illnesses and their families. We were only responsible for an itty bit of that total. But then again, we only registered as a fundraising team on 12/31/14.
With whipping winds pounding us, it was hard to conceive of disrobing and walking briskly into the sea. But the sun and collective enthusiasm can be very persuasive.
Selfie before taking off the robe…
Our blue arm bands identified us as part of the first “wave” of plungers. V.I.P.s.
Luckily, we had a Bruce on shore taking unflattering pictures of us reveling in the experience and then awkwardly trying to get out of our wet bathing suits with our numb fingers. After I piled on the layers: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
After, an vegan arepa at Arepa Guacuco. Flavorful sustenance in the form of soft, pillowy corn cakes. I got the Vegana Picante and got to stuff the piping, fresh-off-the-grill arepa myself with mushrooms, leeks, tomatoes, jalapenos and green and yellow peppers.