Jump on in, the water’s fine! I’ll wait here

funny opinion article from the frederick news-post.

Most people have likely witnessed that the world in which we live has a substantial number of people with questionable judgment — at least I think their judgment needs some work. What brings this to mind is that I’ve discovered that I volunteer for an organization that supports activities for these very people. I’m new to the organization since June 2016 and am still discovering the ins and outs.

The allure of joining this organization was the good works that it does around Maryland for both people and wildlife. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it supports large numbers of manic individuals.

In reading the schedule of upcoming activities, I’ve discovered that this organization supports and is involved with the Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park. There are more. On Feb. 25, there’s a Freezin’ for a Reason dunk up at Deep Creek Lake. On March 4, at Rocky Gap State Park they have something they call the Hooley Plunge. Maybe “hooley” is another word for “out of your mind.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that these events are held for good and charitable reasons. Supporting charities is an admirable effort. Jumping into water that’s less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a totally different story. Rightfully or wrongfully, I consider such activity a potentially heart-stopping event.

It’s not that I haven’t had the experience. I know whereof I speak. A “few years ago,” when I was in high school, I found myself in a small boat about 50 yards off a rocky coast in 30 feet of water near Gloucester, Mass. (I still say “Mass.” because virtually my whole family and myself were born there — it’s a local thing). Gloucester is north of Cape Cod — that means cold, cold water. The Cape pushes the Gulf Stream far from shore. Young, bullet-proof teenager that I was, I decided to dive in prior to donning a wet suit; big mistake. I hit the water, surfaced and tried to breathe. Wow! I could take in only “little sips” of air. My breath was literally taken away, and I wondered if I could make it back to the boat. My point? I know what cold water feels like and need no reminders. Don’t like it!

Almost as bad are those who a year or so ago engaged in a fad of challenging others to dump buckets of ice water over their heads. All right, that’s not as bad as total immersion, but what’s the point? I’ve dealt with a fairly significant number of discomforts in my life — my time in the Army comes to mind. I’ve never been one to go out of my way to voluntarily seek discomfort.

So, for you crazed plungers out there who find such activities to be fun and exhilarating, knock yourselves out. Please don’t take that literally. While the Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point on Jan. 28 has already happened, two that don’t get so much attention are Feb. 25 at Deep Creek and March 4 at Rocky Gap. Begrudgingly, I’ll admit that they’re all for good causes. For myself, it’s much more comfortable to offer support from shore or just write a check.

Enjoy yourselves. I’ll watch from a distance. BTW, the group that offers support for these extreme immersions is our own Maryland Natural Resources Police.

for more information, click here.