While having a few friends over for New Year’s, one of them mentioned that she is a member of the “Polar Bear Club.” Meaning, on New Year’s Day, she immerses all or part of her body in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan. Brrrrr is the biggest understatement. There are organized groups of people that embark on this crazy adventure, but she does it alone or in a small group. She is Baha’i, so she chooses to do this symbolic cleansing on the western new year and on the Baha’i new year.
Her explanation of “thinking of the old stuff you wanted to get rid of, and the lake cleansing it off, and thinking of your hopes for the new year, and the determination cementing them in” had me hooked. Or maybe it was the champagne punch.
Anyway the next morning, there we were, four of us, shivering on the beach, then stripping down our layers, and walking in the water.
Oh, yeah, that bit about the lake “cleansing off the bad stuff from the year before–” as my brother so lovingly pointed out as we were going in, “It’s Lake Michigan. It’s poo water.”
I don’t know about all the cleansing–but it sure was fun. And that adventurous spirited picture is currently my computer desktop.