Dave

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

GNW Polar Bear Swim Report: Brrrrrr...

Yes, yes, we know; it isn't like this event takes place in some place like Minnesota or the North Pole, but for those of us used to 100+ degree summers and very mild winters, the water at 52 degrees with an official outside wind chill factor of a balmy 42 was as close to polar conditions as we can take, and for dozens of brave residents of the Great Northwest Community Improvement Association, it was a nippy good way to mark the new year.Each year, the young and the young at heart meet at the community pool at the Lodge of the Great Northwest to carry on the annual tradition which nets the participants a great T-Shirt and plenty of cookies and treats after the event. I must confess, my wife and I opted to cheer them on rather than dawn Speedo's and freeze any vital areas.There was a large media presence with crews from KENS-5, News 4 WOAI, FOX 29 and the Express-News. Our Recreation Director, Stephanie was interviewed to provide background on the event and several of the participants gave the media their reasons for participating.As the hour approached 12 Noon, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lee Besing, provided the swimmers with the current outside temperature, the wind chill factor and the pool temp, suggesting that if anyone was having second thoughts, nobody would think the worse of them. No one backed out!So as to accommodate the large crowd, Chairman Besing directed the younger swimmers to take the first leap and the group of kids lined the far end of the pool waiting for the excitement to begin.As parents and friends waited at the near end of the pool armed with towels and blankets, the Polar Bear Swim officially begin.

There is nothing like chilly water to make you swim fast and these kids zoomed across the pool like it was a swim meet in an alligator farm.
Next up were the brave adults who would not allow all the glory to go to the younger folk. With perhaps a slightly larger splash, it was adult swim and there would be no chickens in this group either.Though perhaps not as fast as the kids group, these folks demonstrated the Olympic quality skills (okay, not really) to get from one end of the pool to the other without losing body heat or swimming trunks. As the swimmers all huddled for warmth and a dry towel, GNW's first resident, Ms. Olivia Theroit, decided that she would not miss an opportunity to get in the New Year's Day spirit. Instead of impressing the crowd with a full length of the pool swim, Miss Olivia instead opted to feel the cool waters from some steps along the side.When all the swimmers had completed their invigorating swim to get the new year off on a positive start, it was off to the warmth of the lodge to enjoy refreshments and collect on the T-Shirts passed out by volunteers.

Perhaps next year, if we can get up to a reasonable temperature of about 82 or so, I might make the big leap into the pool. But don't hold your breath...

6 comments:

Sapphire said...

Aww, I'm sorry we missed this! i guess I should read the Passages they stick on the door every now and again. Well, actually, I do, but I just didn't pay enough attention! Looks like a lot of fun, and what else is there to do on New Year's Day?

Blonde Goddess said...

I need to find me one of those clubs around here....I believe I would enjoy that kind of thing...

Dave said...

BG: Yea, but aren't you from Sweden or West Virgina where people bathe in cold baths anyway? ;)

Blonde Goddess said...

Swedes do a hot sauna, followed by a roll in the snow or a dip in the cold, but here in West Virginia I don't know what they do.
When I lived in New Sweden, the older men had a sauna and would sit in it and gossip, then jump in the lake through a hole they'd cut in the ice.
Since I wasn't an old man, I wasn't invited.
Hmmm...

chocHollyK said...

Oh my goodness, this was too too entertaining, Dave!
I am known as PopsGuysRule in another land far away; here I'm known as Holly.....
great post, and to think we're neighbors... and Sapphire too!!!

Sid said...

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Sorry, but you won't find my polar bare ass out there freezing my tail off!

80 degrees or higher? Maybe then I'd take the plunge... possibly. I've always watched this event on the tv news and gotten a chill just viewing it on the tube.

Rather view it than do it.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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