The Chicago Polar Plunge is like getting a hug from a giant iceberg.
Every January in Chicago, as people run screaming into Lake Michigan in freezing temperatures, I wonder if it is from crazy delight or sheer terror.
So, instead of watching some new clips from the sofa this year, I went to Oak Street Beach to see what all the hoopla was about and why anyone would even think of taking a cold plunge and exposing their bare skin in 20-degree temperatures.
Thus, I submit the top 7 reasons you should do a Chicago Polar Bear Plunge.
- You are challenging yourself like no other possible way. You have to step out of your comfort zone, toss aside the strange looks and judgment of others, and commit. It is a great way to try something new and resolve to grow as a person.
- You don’t have to achieve a certain level of fitness. Participants were of all ages, skin colors, and body types. Did you know that jumping into the freezing waters will boost your cardiovascular health? However, I doubt that you’ll want to make a weekly routine of it.
- There is a sense of camaraderie. People are smiling and laughing. I couldn’t help but join them in the collective cheer. And while the aura of insanity looms over everyone’s head, we were in this together! Well, not me, physically in the water. But I was there, and we were in it together.
- Who else can say they plunged into Lake Michigan in mid-January wearing a Black Panther suit? Or look like a unicorn at an equestrian show? YOLO, baby!
- Everyone should start the new year with a baptism. In Christian belief, baptism is through immersion and symbolizes a new birth (or newness). I liken it to parting with things that no longer serve you. Just like how clothes that are too tight can restrict your movement, or things that hinder your growth and progress in life. It’s time to Marie Kondo those things and make room for new opportunities and experiences.
- The struggle is real. The goal of this event is to support Chicago area families who are in need. The struggle of each family is narrated on the Polar Plunge Fundraiser website and tells a story that tugs at your heart. I love that this event raises funds to ease the financial strain while fostering a sense of community.
- When you’re done, you’ll feel like a real polar bear, ready to take on any challenge the world throws at you. And there’s a cup of hot chocolate waiting for you.
Final Thoughts on the Chicago Polar Plunge
I still think the Polar Plunge it’s the craziest darn thing to do. But that won’t stop me from finding a few more crazy events to support a cause.
If you’re feeling brave and want to support a great cause, grab your swimsuits and join the Chicago Polar Bear Club for their annual plunge!
If you are like me and don’t like cold showers, you can donate at the Chicago Polar Plunge website.
Whether you jump into the freezing cold Lake Michigan or not, your support will release endorphins, improve moods, give a sense of accomplishment, and put a smile on some faces!
Looking for more Chicago resources? Here are a few:
- Best Walking Tours of Chicago (from a Local)
- A Guide to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile
- 10 Great Reasons to Visit Chicago for Winter Break
- A Complete Guide for a Chicago Road Trip
Chicago is not the only time of the year where fun and interesting things are happening! You should check out the spring, summer and fall seasons, too.