20100419

Ailie Jenkins #51- Frozen Lake Swim

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The feeling of icy water engulfing you, sending shooting pains through your body like a thousand needles pricking your skin and completely knocking the breath out of you. Sounds delightful right? Maybe not, but when my friend George mentioned a group of his friends do the Polar Bear swim at Lake George in upstate New York every year for some reason I found myself signing up. Much to their surprise, my friend Nicole and I vowed to join them in the swim this year. Apparently they had never had a girl in the group participate so they were pretty skeptical, until we fronted up at the frozen beach in our bikinis. We all rented a cabin for the weekend which had a hot tub out the back. Luckily for us there had been a huge snowfall that week. On Friday night we had the bright idea that we should condition our bodies in preparation for Saturday’s jump. This involved rolling around in the snow in our bathers before jumping into the hot tub. The pain was pretty intense so by Saturday morning I was quite nervous about the lake.

The beautiful cabin where we stayed

When we got to the lake we signed waiver forms (which always make me a bit worried!) and proceeded to get into our swimming costumes. Even the vodka shot for Dutch courage didn’t help when I saw one of the officials wading in the water cutting some of the ice away so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves when we ran in. As the crowd started to build and we got closer to swim time I could feel the adrenalin kicking in.

Nervous smiles as we prepare ourselves for the swim

We stood on the snowy beach in our bathing suits waiting for the countdown, and before I knew it I was running full speed into the icy lake, gripping my friends’ hands and dragging them with me. Once I had dived under there was a brief moment where I thought I might die when my feet slipped and sunk in the mud, but once I started swimming back to shore I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. After a quick check to make sure my bikini was still in place (yes, no matter how cold I was there was no way I was going to run out of there in front of all those people flashing!) I made my way out of the water. It was an incredibly invigorating experience and I couldn’t believe how much I actually enjoyed it! I might even do it again next year!

Our group

Northern Beaches Wedding Photography

Northern Beaches Wedding Photography
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