Some people have bucket lists that are pages long with outlandish goals that may never be reached. I applaud these people; if you’re going to aim for goals, aim high and live your life to your fullest ability.
My bucket list may be short, but each goal I have is in effort to live loudly, proudly, and to give back to society in one way or another. This weekend I was able to cross a goal off of my bucket list: the Polar Plunge.
The Polar Plunge is a tradition seen in many cold regions of the world, but it’s especially prevalent in Northeast America. The tradition is to plunge into icy 30-degree waters during the winter (February/March typically) all to raise money for a good cause.
When I found out this specific Polar Plunge was supporting a local cancer center, I knew I had found the right event to take part in. My life was first affected by cancer at 16 years old when my Nana passed away from ovarian cancer.
Since that time, I have lost a friend in his twenties to lymphoma, supported my mother through surgery required to remove cancer, lost a great-grandmother to the disease, and watched my best friend struggle through her diagnosis of a rare cancer.
This past Saturday, my team (Team Sink-A-Germ) and I gathered on a beach in Southeast Massachusetts. We dressed up as different germs, with my mother and I dressed up as biofilm. Can’t you just smell the geekery through your computer? The outside temperature was 31 degrees and the water was roughly the same. Hello, below freezing!
When the clock struck 1:00pm, hundreds of people began charging toward the ocean. My body worked in auto-drive; I could barely hear everyone’s screams over my mother’s determined voice, “It’s time, just keep going, we’ve got this!”
We waded out until we were waist-deep in water. The time had come and there was no looking back! I dove under the icy water and came up screaming. Every cell was ignited in my body and my brain repeated the demand: Get out of the water!
I don’t remember most of the walk out of the water. “Get out of the water” became a mantra that cycled on repeat. In a disoriented haze I stumbled up to strangers, completely unaware of my boyfriend waving his arms and calling my name. In the blink of an eye, he was there and I was wrapped in warm towels that felt better than Christmas Eve as a child.
After changing into warm, dry clothes and heading back to our cars, the day came to an end. A huge goal was crossed off my bucket list, and many members in the community will benefit medically and spiritually because of all the polar plungers. Our team raised over $2,000 to support the local cancer center and a feeling of amazement swept over us all.
What goals are on your bucket list?
Have you ever taken the polar plunge?