IMG_3044Last year on New Year’s Day I witnessed a bunch of crazy boys jumping into the cold water at the lake. I had decided that it was a little too cold and a little too crazy for me, so I volunteered to capture the event on video.

I have a few regrets from2015, but the most notable one was not jumping in the water with those boys and participating in the annual polar plunge. While it wasn’t something that I dwelled on all year, there were times when I anxiously looked forward to New Year’s Day 2016 because I WAS going to jump.

Yesterday that moment finally arrived. I was excited that there were four other girls joining me alongside those crazy boys, but I would have done it if I were the only one. Oh, I did have second thoughts… but when the moment of truth came, I jumped.

It wasn’t until several hours afterwards… after I was home alone and reflecting on the past year and dreaming what the future year would bring that I began to understand the significance of a polar plunge.

It’s like a baptism in a way. Jumping in the water to wash off all of the past year, the past regrets and mistakes… the missed opportunities, the times I wasn’t true to myself, etc. Thoughts of those things sting me, like the cold water hitting my skin. But I left those moments, those feelings, those regrets to drown in the lake.

Coming out of the water was as cold as being in the water. And it was a bit of a struggle to pull myself out. But I was as determined to get out of the water as I am to embrace the New Year and all it holds for me. I will be stronger. I will face my fears. I will be better. I will be true.

I will work harder this year. I have goals I want to achieve that will stretch me personally, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I have the most amazing people around me who love me, challenge me, push me, listen to me, laugh with me (and at me), accept me, and want the very best for me. Some of them are just as crazy as I am and jumped in that water with me, and climbed out next to me.

I don’t know if they think about why they jump or what significance it has in their life. But I found great meaning in it for it for me. And I will look forward to participating in this new tradition every year for as long as my body will allow me.