If you know me well on a personal level, you’d know that I’m the type of person who likes to “make things happen.” If I’m honest, it’s one of my strongest personality traits and a bit the Aries in me. With that, I’m also a self-proclaimed procrastinator and things often take me longer than they ought to (that’s the recovering perfectionist in me). But give me a challenge or task and trust me, I’ll get ‘er done!
The art of “making things happen” begins with the act of simply starting. Start today, like after you read this blog. Don’t wait, life is too short so seize the day! Next, I recommend setting a minimum baseline that sets you up for success. I’ve found that when we set goals, they often feel unachievable simply because they’re too grand or seem impossible. Remember, even the smallest baby step is movement in the right direction. So start small and build on that.
I think sharing a story is always a good way to make this advice feel relatable. I remember seeing people plunging into the cold Atlantic Ocean on New Years Day during visits home from California. While I enjoyed watching, I thought to myself, “Who in their right mind would want to jump into the frigid water?” or “those people must be nuts!”.
Fast forward to 2020, I was really struggling mentally. Not only were we deep into the heart of the pandemic, I had just lost Kam (my love of 10 years) and then my beloved Gram passed as well. I was feeling really blue and searching for anything to help my state of mind.
I got off the phone with one of my besties, KT and she shared how she and her friends had just jumped into Lake Tahoe. KT said it was one of the best natural highs she ever experienced.
At that point, I would have done anything to feel a mental reset so that’s when it began. It was my birthday, April 18, 2021 when I decided I would plunge. The beginning of another year of life seemed like the perfect time to start! Sure, it wasn’t as cold as it would be in winter but it was certainly too chilly for swimming as the water was below 50 degrees.
I was given the advice to just charge into the ocean. Don’t hesitate, just go straight in! The second recommendation was to not only go under but go under TWICE. Dive in, come up for air and dive back under for the full effect. I listened and I did just that. HOLY COWS. Best thing ever, I was a convert.
Now, I’ve developed a bit of an addiction for plunging into cold water! Not only is it thrilling, you get the after effects which include TONS of energy and improved mood. For me, it’s a reminder that we can do hard things. Our hearts can heal. We can jump in freezing cold water. Our minds and bodies are capable of the impossible. Rinse and repeat!
Since that first time, I’ve plunged 5 times and recently started a local club called the Asbury Park Double Dippers. While we don’t have anything other than a name, our goal is to plunge monthly throughout the colder months (November - April). I invite you to join us (if you’re local) or to take a plunge into cold water (wherever you may be). When I plunged in January, the water was 42 degrees. I expect it will be colder this month, I can’t wait!
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