Polar Plunge

Bagpipers gather quickly to welcome the mayor and Jimmy Fallon in to the icy water.

There is no real way to describe just how FRIGID it was along the lakeshore this weekend. The water was 32 degrees. That’s roughly 30 degrees warmer than outside temps. It was as if we were trapped in the movie, “Frozen.” And I was fully clothed and not running in to water that had been a giant iceberg only an hour before. Seriously, firefighters with special equipment went in to Lake Michigan (known as the largest iceberg to ever exist) and broke it apart so there was a small pool for seemingly sane people to jump in. Yes, welcome to Chicago’s Polar Plunge. It is an annual ritual held to raise funds for Special Olympics. And only Special Olympics could draw 3000 people out to plunge this weekend while ambulances lined up for fear people would have heart attacks from the shock. Yes, that is true.

A perfect day at the beach.

I was asked to be a part of this year’s event by helping welcome and cheer on plungers. I was also told I could take the dive with the other plungers. Now, as much as I LOVE wearing a swimsuit in public (or anywhere), I felt it was my public service to forgo forcing others to witness me running in the suit.

Big Rob helped with the event and served as security. He was kind enough to offer me help getting in to the water. Ha!

This year’s event had the biggest turnout ever. Jimmy Fallon may have helped with that. Yes, Jimmy! He and Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel had a bet. Jimmy dared Rahm to appear on his show and Rahm dared Jimmy to take the plunge. And he did.

Looks like fun, huh? I fear he may never return to Chi-town again during winter. But I am sure he will come back to help the children and families who are a part of Special Olympics. Over a million dollars was raised! All that hypothermia was worth it!

Be the change!

Amy Gregorio
Your Mrs. International



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