For years, I have used this day as an excuse to plunge myself into the nearest body of water, my own “Polar Bear” swim. In looking back through old photos and videos, I am pretty sure the first time I did this was in 2000, but it may very well have gone undocumented in 1999 or 1998. There isn’t a lot of pomp and circumstance involved, the only real criteria is to completely submerge myself in the water, if only briefly.
The first celebrations were in Maryland, with friends from High School including John Merrill and Chris Moore. Subsequent celebrations follwed me wherever I was a given year. In 2001, we had to fight with a thin layer of ice over the water which you wouldn’t think could do any damage, but it cut up our legs pretty well. I recall a swim on the river in Pittsburgh at CJ Sloan’s River house with Casper. I also recall a very brisk midwinter swim at RB Winter state park, although I’m not certain it was on New Years Day per-se, or just a chilly bad idea.
This year, since it was dark, we decided it was smarter to run in to the water from the beach rather than taking the intense plunge off the dock. Knowing that this approach is difficult, since you can back out before completing the dunk, I went at the water at a full run. It was a good plan, as it was quite chilly out, and I knew the sun woudl not be able to help me warm up after it had set.
0/01/01 – Kirkland
Thanks to all who celebrated with me this year and in year’s past. Happy New Year!