Freezin’ for a Reason, Coney Island New Years Polar Bear Swim

Freezin’ for a Reason, Coney Island New Years Polar Bear Swim

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Selfie before taking off the robe…

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Our blue arm bands identified us as part of the first “wave” of plungers. V.I.P.s.

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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.

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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.