I am a water person. I am a water person through and through. I love teaching swim lessons. I love teaching aqua yoga. I love taking a break from the summer heat and running in the pool. Water simply makes me happy.
That said, one of my mottos is: Life’s too short to swim in cold water.
I am a wimp. I seriously dislike being cold. And because I love water so much, being in cold water is especially unpleasant. I just don’t do it.
Let me put it to you this way: I haven’t swum in the Austin landmark Barton Springs Pool in over ten years because the water is too cold for me. It’s a cool 64 degrees year-round thanks to the natural spring that fills the pool. Even when we have out-of-town guests who want to visit this Austin gem, I tell them I’m happy to take them, but there’s no way I’m getting in.
However, I am all about facing my fears. I am all about teaching my kids that just because you’re a little bit scared of being uncomfortable, you shouldn’t let your limiting thoughts prevent you from having fun. I’m all about identifying my goals and then going about and smashing them.
In the last days of December, I asked my family if they wanted to join me for the 2016 Polar Bear Plunge at Barton Springs Pool. The community event supports the Save Our Springs Alliance, a non-profit which works to keep the local ecosystem in balance. A good cause, right?!
My husband and oldest son had no interest in taking the plunge– “Are you nuts?” they asked. But they wanted to go along, and they served as our Official Event Photographers. (Hey, everyone has a role to play in this life. Find one that makes you happy.)
My middle kid– aka The Monkey– was ALL IN. This is exactly his kind of thing.
The Stowaway will do anything The Monkey wants to do.
So we packed up and headed to the pool on New Year’s morning. It was a cool 47 degrees outside. (That’s cold for us Texans.) Bring it on!
Once we arrived and The Stowaway felt how cold it was outside, she started having doubts. “I don’t want to jump in,” she said.
“Let’s just take a picture, and then we’ll see,” I told her.
“I can do it!”
We lined up, toes on the edge, and counted 1-2-3 JUMP!
And we did it!
In the end, it was all smiles:
Here’s my advice for 2016:
When you’re a little scared, hold hands with someone you trust, take a deep breath, and then jump on in. You’ll love it!
Good health and great happiness to you!