[Author's Note: Please forgive the personal nature of this post. The only other time I will post on this topic is with proof of completion. Regular banal content will resume shortly]
This year I'm returning to the Polar Plunge circuit for the 2011 Chicago edition to raise money for The Special Olympics.
That splash is me, immediately regretting my decision.
The Special Olympics mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
If you don't know what The Special Olympics is all about, they are essentially an organization whose primary goal is to provide arenas for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a world where they are frequently excluded for being "different". Besides the events themselves, they also promote understanding and respect for a demographic that is all too often marginalized or maltreated.
It's an organization that is very near and dear to my heart. My younger (and awesomer) brother Peter was born with Down Syndrome and he's enjoyed countless Special Olympics events over the years. He loves geeking around just like me, and while I disagree with him about the quality of Spiderman 3, I couldn't ask for a nicer brother. I'm really hoping he can come jump in with me this year.
I did the plunge two years ago on a balmy 42 F degree day (the water temp was 33 F), and I would need Neil Gaiman's literary expertise to properly illustrate exactly what that feels like. My best effort would be to imagine getting slapped in the face by an Eskimo with a frozen halibut who hasn't paid the heating bill because he spent all of his money on liquid nitrogen and Vanilla Ice tickets. On Hoth.
Yeah. That cold.
Then double that and add three. It's cold, mind numbingly so.
So when I end up curled in the fetal position at the bottom of my shower, your support will help me remember why I did it in the first place.
Hopefully my donation total will surpass the water bill.
If you want to contribute, you can sponsor my insanity here. You could also sponsor my wife (who committed to plunge if I raised over $500) here. No donation is too small and any amount will be appreciated. If you don't, normal posts will resume tomorrow, and you can forget you ever read this.