January 21, 2018
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  • The intensity of Polar Bear Plunge is only as extreme as you want it to be. You can run into the water up to your knees, or you can splash around and fully submerge yourself. Just be sure to be safe and considerate while you’re having fun.
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    The intensity of Polar Bear Plunge is only as extreme as you want it to be. You can run into the water up to your knees, or you can splash around and fully submerge yourself. Just be sure to be safe and considerate while you’re having fun.

Nervous About The Plunge? Here Are The Top Five Thoughts To Have In The Back Of Your Mind

Dylan Roche
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January 12, 2018

The Polar Bear Plunge can be either a lot of fun or a little scary — it all depends on how you look at it. Here are five thoughts to keep in the back of your head to ensure you stay safe and sane when you’re barreling toward the brisk waters of the bay.

5. Be Aware Of Yourself And Of Others

The Plunge is crowded. It’s crowded on the beach, in the water and everywhere between. You might be tempted to move quickly, but the last thing you want to do is be careless. Being aware of yourself and of those around you will ensure that everyone gets in and out of the water safely, with nobody tripping or getting stepped on. All participants are encouraged to wear shoes for good reason — not only is the sand cold but also you want to be sure that nobody steps on your toes.

4. First One In Is Usually The Last One Out

You might be thinking that you want to get this over and done with. That sounds like a good plan. You decide to run ahead of the crowd, thinking that you’ll get in and out of the water quickly.

But here’s the thing — if you’re among the first to make a splash, you’ll have the whole crowd coming into the water behind you. That means you won’t be able to run back onto dry land quite so fast.

If you’re apprehensive about staying in the water too long, the best plan of action is to wait until most people have plunged and are out of the water. That way you’ll have a smaller crowd you have to deal with, and there will be less people in your way. Which leads us to our next point …

3. It’s Only As Extreme As Your Want It To Be

A big question you have but are afraid to ask: “How far do I have to go in for it to count?” The short answer: as far as you want.

Everyone does the Plunge a little differently, and everyone is going to take it to a different level of extreme. Some people might be apt to charge into the water and dunk their heads under (just don’t dive in headfirst), whereas others might only go up to their waists or their knees. There’s no pressure to go into the water to a certain depth — if you even just step in the water, you can say that you plunged.

2. You’re Not Going To Get Hypothermia

If you’re concerned about your health, or if you have high blood pressure or heart conditions, you should check with your doctor before the Polar Bear Plunge. The shock of hitting that cold water can be intense!

But don’t worry about hypothermia — your body temperature isn’t going to drop too low from being in cold water for only a minute or two. However, be sure to get dry and in warm clothes afterward, especially if you plan to hang outside at PlungeFest for a little while.

1. It’s For Fun … And A Good Cause

Finally, remember that Polar Bear Plunge is all about having a good time and supporting Special Olympics Maryland. Who knows? You might enjoy the adrenaline rush of jumping in the water and won’t even feel the cold. And if you chicken out at the last minute, that’s OK. You can still enjoy rooting for your friends as they jump in the water, and you can take pride in knowing you helped support the mission of a very important nonprofit organization.


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