Brave Swimmers Take Polar Plunge for Charity

Some North Texans are choosing to start the new year with a chilly splash by taking a Polar Plunge.

Dozens of people braved the cold morning temperatures and a frigid outdoor pool to jump for a good cause.

“It’s cold.  When you get in, it really does take your breath away.  Stupidly, instead of fanning out, I sank all the way to the bottom.  I was racing to get back to the top.  It’s cold,” said Chris Bond.

Bond and his wife, Lorraine, decided on New Year’s Eve they’d take the Arlington YMCA Polar Plunge together for the first time.

“It was cold, but it was good.  I’m still kind of trying to catch my breath,” said Lorraine Bond.  “We tend to do weird things together.  This is just adding onto the list of things that we've done together on a whim.”

Plungers at the 4th annual event quickly discovered it's all about technique when jumping into 41-degree water; some chose to dive, others cannonball or belly flop.

“It’s freezing, like ice cubes in the Antarctic.  I was the first one out.  I’m glad I did a little jump instead of a big jump,” said 7-year-old Owen Hulme.

The chilly dip was not for everyone.  Meteorologist Grant Johnston said around 9 a.m. the air temperature was in the lower 40’s. For those too “chicken” to take the plunge, there was a “chicken coop” set up for the cheerleading section.

“We do the plunge to help start a new family tradition for people.  It's also a small fundraiser for our annual support campaign that gives scholarships for families in need,” said Beth Lecroy, Central YMCA executive director.

Sharen Maintz has taken the plunge two years in-a-row.  She said if you think it sounds crazy, “Come join me!  It's a way to bring in the new year.  It's kind of strange, but it's healthy.”

“Fantastic! It’s not so much the heat, it's the humidity that gets you,” joked plunger James Hollis.  “Happy New Year!”

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