Take a plunge in the park

Published 3:42 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2017

When faced with a strenuous situation, the human body has a much higher tolerance than many would think. Does that mean they can withstand the same arctic temperatures endured daily by insulated polar bears? Probably not, due to the fact that, while maintaining the same body temperature as humans, they can endure an arctic temperatures with ease due to their fur, hide and blubber. Regardless, it’s still rather exhilarating to give it a shot.

To wash away 2017, Pine Mountain State Resort Park will host their first ever Polar Plunge event, in which visitors and rangers alike are welcome to join in on the icy, bittersweet experience, as they submerge themselves in freezing waters, testing their own body’s resilience to the cold. Many may be surprised to find out how tough their body truly is, as it is designed to adapt and survive even in the most endearing of situations.

The idea of beginning each year with an arctic swim originated in Canada, where the practice is very common. Each year, thousands of Canadians participate in Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim, while even more stand by and cheer on the brave souls.

Those wishing to participate should meet at the Clear Creek parking lot at 10 a.m. on Jan. 1, and prepare to soon be plunged into below freezing waters. Participants are advised to bring along both a towel and possibly a change of clothes. The event is completely free of charge, and coffee and hot cocoa will be provided to help warm up those adventurous enough to take on this challenging — yet rewarding — experience.

“This should be a fun way to wash away the 2017 and bring in the new year. I encourage everyone to give it a shot. You may be surprised by how much you can take,” said Park Naturalist Keith Bowling.