"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
- Bill Cosby
Every year on January 1st, hundreds of people of all ages converge on the beach in Coney Island, Brooklyn to participate in The Coney Island Polar Bear Club's Annual Swim benefitting Camp Sunshine, which involves stripping down to your barely "mentionables" and plunging into icy cold water.
It's a 103 year old tradition started by Bernarr McFadden, a health enthusiast who touted the many physical benefits of swimming in icy waters.
Are there really any health benefits to doing some thing that every cell in your body is telling you is wrong?
Well, it depends on who you ask.
Europeans have been reaping the "benefits" of cold baths for hundreds of years, due in part to limited access to hot water. Some swear it increase circulation, creates an all natural high, improves skin, hair & nails, boost fertility and testerone levels in men and creates a general feeling of well being. Even James Bond does it.
The Thrombosis Research Instutite of England published a study in 1993 that found that male subjects whom regularly engaged in cold showers registered increases in white blood cell production & testosterone. Another study showed that cold showers can be used to treat depression. This is probably not enough to make you strap on a bikini, zip up your Uggs and cannonball head first into wintry waters but it makes you wonder.
FYI, most physicians do not recommend swimming in 34˚ water for any length of time.
I'll admit that I've always wanted to try the polar dip but never quite pulled the trigger. So this year I decided to accompany my friends Katie and Adrienne who decided to take the plunge so I could see what I would literally be getting myself into.
Enjoy the photos and scroll down to read about the crazy thing I'm planning to do this year...
Robby Bear & Christy Verschoor have been polar plunging for various charities for over 5 years. When I asked Robby why he does it, he replied, "Because it's there!"
Tom McCann have been a member of The Coney Island Polar Bear Club for over 25 years and since 1992 have been swimming in the Atlantic ocean every Saturday and Sunday during the frigid winter months. He and his polar bear pals took their plunge earlier in the day before the crowds appeared.
New Year's Eve newlyweds Mary Jane & Danny have been plunging for 7 years and 5 years.
Robby & Christy; post dip. I asked him again why he does it and this time he replied, "I don't know. I ask my self that every year after I do it."
Diana (far right) is planning to do 13 crazy things in 2013. One down... 12 to go.
On February 9th at 12:00pm I will be running with some other crazy New Yorkers for 1.5 miles through the streets... in our underwear! The proceeds go to The Children's Tumor Foundation so click here to learn more!
So, what's the craziest thing you've ever done?
Would you try the polar bear club dip or cupid's undie run?
(feel free to comment anonymously)
That's all for now.
Thanks for tuning in.
Until Next Time...
Keep Adding Bliss!