They warn you. They tell you it’s cold. But there’s really no preparing for how cold it actually is!

Yesterday was the Law Enforcement Torch Run’s Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. I raised about $1,300 for the privilege of jumping into an icy lake, so thanks to everyone that donated!

After registration and a costume contest, which I did not enter because my outfit for the day could only be considered a costume in the most liberal of terms. It was my station polo and a borrowed red cape to fit the super hero theme for our team from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. The team as a whole won best costume…so sorry to let y’all down on the costume front!

After bestowing the golden plunger to the winner of the costume contest, we loaded up some buses and headed to Loon Lake at Silver Spring State Park. I wasted no time…straight to the warming tent to change…out to the water’s edge…and it was go time!

If I knew yesterday what I know today…I probably wouldn’t have spread my arms and fall back. The ignorance of a rookie plunger, to be sure. Because friends, when I tell you that the water took my breath away, it is in the most literal of senses! There was a good 15-20 seconds where I could not catch my breath. I could not inhale. I could not talk. I very much considered signaling to the emergency divers in the water my urgent state of distress. But I thought to myself…don’t be that guy! I told myself, “Hundreds of other people, much older and much younger than I, left the water under their own power…you can do the same!”

Thank the good Lord Baby Jesus my breath came back as I walked out, and it was a quick beeline fro the warming tent.

Unfortunately, I forgot to back an extra shirt or shorts, so I just had to wear my sweats and hoodie without a second layer. That is very much on-brand, by the way.

Would I do it again? Honestly, I’m not sure! The shock of it all is still pretty fresh. Just kidding…of course I’d do it again, just maybe a little smarter.