Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Polar Bear Swim

My oldest little guy snuggled up in his warmest clothes to go out to the beach with me to watch our first Polar Bear Swim.  It's not actually polar bears swimming at the beach.  It's where a bunch of crazy people run into the freezing cold water for fun....in very little clothing.  As crazy as it may seem, I can't say that I would never do this.  I watched as not only individuals did this as their families cheered them on, but there were also tons of groups of friends as well as entire families that ran in the water holding hands.  I can see why people would have an event like this on their bucket list....what an experience!

I so enjoyed the entertainment they had out there and especially all the silly outfits.  C & I spent 2 hours out there (with little wind blowing, it wasn't too bad really) people watching.  I treasured this time I got to spend with him one on one, and I could tell that he loved every second of my undivided attention too.










I thought it was so cool that they wore letter jackets for their college.  Prior to this I would've put money on the assumption that letter jackets were an American thing.  Guess I was wrong.



Here's the first round of people going in.  There were a few groups like this that actually swam a course way out in the water.  They wore wet suits and fins to help them since they had to swim so far and stay in the cold water for so long.

Before each round of people, you'd hear the MC yell on the microphone, "Hana!  Tul!  Set!" (1, 2, 3!) and off they'd race.

There were so many people there just to watch!

The buoys were set up far out in the water, and the swimmers had to race out, around, and back.  If it seemed like forever to me for them to get back, I know it had to be a long swim for them in that water.  Every person that did that is amazing in my book.


There was some sort of contest going on where groups of people would dance, and then the crowd voted afterwards by applause.  I think it's awesome that you can sense sarcasm even when it's in another language, as I could when this MC would talk to/about these groups of people.









There were interviews going on here and there...

A group of women taught the crowd how to do the moves from the song and music video "Gangnam Style".... I don't know, maybe you've heard of it?????  ;)  They must've played that song at least 10 times, which makes me wonder what song(s) they played at events before Gangnam Style was popular.  I'm not exaggerating when I say it's played everywhere, every day.  My husband said they even play it and have this same sort of "dance class" led by a group of women at several work events he's gone to.  I do have to say, though, that I thoroughly enjoyed watching a big group of people, especially the older people, take a stab at these dance moves.  It kind of made my day.

Here, I think you should enjoy it too.  :)


And you have to check this one out.  Focus on the woman in the pink on the left.  She's a dancing fool!  My guess is she had been drinking all morning in an effort to keep warm (she had little clothing on because she was participating in the swim later), and whatever she drank made her a bit hyper and extra friendly.  Loved her!






He drew "C"s in the sand to pass some time.







It was finally time for the people that weren't racing to get in.  This is what I had been waiting to see!  These were the people who chose to strip down and run into freezing water for no reason at all.  And into the water they all went!  It might sound like they're in pain from all the screaming (as you can imagine they more than likely were with the ice cold water), BUT I can guarantee this is also the sound of the time of their lives.  The smiles and laughter were contagious.


C's face was hilarious as he watched the people run into the water.  I asked him if he wanted to get in the water too, and, knowing that the water was really cold, his response was, "No!  They're crazy."  Ha!!!


We watched this madness for about 5 minutes before deciding to head home.  What's amazing to me is that instead of jumping in and then straight back out of the water, most of the people stayed in the water long after we left.






It was such a treat to be able to watch the Polar Bear Swim AND to have it be within walking distance from our condo.  Even though we didn't hop in the water ourselves, it was an experience I'll not soon forget.  What a fun way to spend our morning together!  :)

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