Friday, May 2, 2014

Cold Water Challenge

Its probably just because I grew up in Michigan and so I remain in contact on facebook with a number of people who reside in West Michigan, but my facebook newsfeed has recently inundated with people taking the "Cold Water Challenge".

Apparently you need to take a video of yourself jumping in Lake Michigan (a VERY cold Spring Lake Michigan), or give $100 to the charity of your choice.  Then you post the video on facebook and challenge a few of your facebook friends.

To be honest, I'm a little grateful that I'm not currently residing around Lake Michigan, lest I might get challenged...

But all of these videos remind me of a very special memory, which I would like to share.  I have done a Lake Michigan challenge... but long before facebook existed.

My best friend from childhood (Abbie) and I decided we wanted to be the first people in Lake Michigan in this millennium.  We were 15 years old and sophomores in high school with a lot to learn but an insatiable urge for innocent adventure.  We rung in the new year with her parents at her grandparents house (we were real party animals), and then we embarked on the task of convincing her dad to let us quickly jump in Lake Michigan.

Abbie's parents were NOTHING like my parents -- absolutely polar opposites even to the tune that my dad was Abbie's dad's pediatrician when he was a boy.  For years into our friendship, Mr. Rockwood continued to call my dad Dr. Sanden because this man had been his pediatrician.  It took much urging on the part of my dad to FINALLY convince Mr. Rockwood to call him Howard.

I don't remember all the details of convincing Mr. Rockwood to give us a ride to Lake Michigan... but I do remember we had an elaborate  "Warm-up Plan."  I remember reiterating our "Warm-up Plan" repeatedly, explaining to Mr. Rockwood that we would be fine, and we would only be in the water for seconds... and then we had a warm-up plan... we would be fine.

I know, among other things, the "Warm-Up Plan" consisted of leaving the heat blasting in the car, wearing winter boots, pants, coats and hats, with swim suits underneath, so we would be fully bundled up... then strip down to our swim suits, run into Lake Michigan, submerge ourselves under the water, run right back out, quickly dry off, and bundle up again... then run to the car with the heat blasting.

We FINALLY convinced Mr. Rockwood to let us have this experience.


Such a great, stupid memory that Abbie and I shared -- the first people in Lake Michigan in this millennium -- around 3:00am January 1, 2000.  We have pictures, but I believe they can currently be found in my parent's Michigan basement.

I don't have a strong desire to participate in another cold water challenge at the moment, but I can attest that it is fun, invigorating, and empowering.  Also, after dunking in freezing temperatures, the cold air feels really mild.

What an awesome memory.

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