Monday, January 7, 2013

Goal #2252: Do a Polar Ice Plunge

Whoa, what an absolutely awesome experience. To begin with, you have to understand how much I HATE being cold. That’s one of the reasons I put this on my bucket list. I wanted to do something that I knew would really test my resolve to face my fears and those things I dislike doing.
My nephew John G. learned about my bucket list and asked if I would be interested in knocking off the ice plunge challenge while he was in Utah. I couldn’t say no to the challenge so we decided then and there that we were going to do it before he left to return to Florida.
The weather wasn’t the most inviting for an ice plunge. We had an inversion layer sitting over our valley so temperatures were in the single digits. The day we went there was no sunshine to warm things up, even a few degrees and there was a breeze of icy arctic air blowing down Provo canyon. It was COOOOOLLLLLDDDD!!
Several other family members were there to film and photograph the event as well as to give moral support (to make sure we didn’t chicken out at the last minute.) There were 3 of us doing the plunge; John, my son Dan and I.
We putzed around a bit in order to work up some courage. Then John decided that it was time to take the plunge. He bolted into the water. He came out of the water with a loud scream of victory. He was delighted to see that there was no heart attack and that his limbs still had their full functions. No sign of shock!  Very good. Dan and I got with the spirit of John’s joy and ran in, laid down in the stream and let the water flow over our bodies.
I was surprised that it wasn’t as traumatic as I expected it to be. The thermometer showed that the outside air was 11 degrees and the wind chill knocked it down another 8 to 10 degrees. The water was frozen solid except where the rapids were keeping the water moving too fast to freeze.
We got back to the cars where the heaters were going full blast. The warm air was heavenly on our numb feet and legs. The adrenaline was still running through our bodies and we felt invincible. It was the greatest feeling. I realized that I could do this again and actually enjoy it. The fear was gone; replaced by the excitement of doing something I dreaded but knew I must do. What an awesome experience that was. Everyone needs to do something like that, if for nothing else, then to see what it’s like to live life way out of your comfort zone.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goal #199: Do a Night Dive with Scuba Gear

My first night dive took place when I was visiting my brother in Puerto Rico. Dan had a dive shop so getting the equipment was no problem and he knew the terrain. I was still in the process of becoming scuba certified. After diving for no more than a couple of days, Dan decided to take me out for a night dive.

My night dive was nothing like I had expected; not in my wildest dreams. You can see only as far as the beam of your flashlight projects into the dark of the ocean, which was about 8 feet in front of me and about 2 feet wide. The light illuminated the eyes of thousands shrimp, giving the dark abyss in front of me the sense that there are thousands of dancing spirits in front of me. I never would have dared to go if Dan wasn’t right by me. However, many times I lost sight of Dan’s light beam, leaving me alone in the black emptiness of the ocean. It was on this night dive that I swam into a sea cave and happened upon a shark that was swimming quietly about. You cannot possibly image what thoughts went through my mind when I saw that shark. I wasted no time getting out of there, always looking back, expecting that I was going to be supper to some shark at any moment. Night diving was one of those experiences that just can’t be replicated. It was a remarkable adrenalin rush!