The polar plunge (Antarctica Marathon Part VIII)

I love an ice bath after a long, hard run.

Lucky for me, I was able to submerge myself into a gigantic tub of ice(berg) water the day after the Antarctica Marathon. That tub was the Antarctica Ocean.

I wore a swimsuit under my many layers of clothes (two pairs of wool socks, two pairs of pants, four layers on my top, two hats), while I wandered around Antarctica and observed hundreds of penguins. I was already cold.

It was time for the polar plunge when the zodiacs returned to the beach. I made the mistake of not being the first person into the water. The agony on the first plunger’s face…

I stripped down to my swimsuit (and winter hat), and ran into the ocean. To my right was an iceberg; to my left were penguins swimming in a synchronized fashion.

I lasted 5 seconds, tops.

My feet suffered the most. They were numb and stung every time I walked over a rock. If I hadn’t just ran a marathon, I’d have sprinted the 30 feet back to my clothes. I quickly dried off and started to layer back up.

I looked up when I heard, “I’m free! I’m free!” being yelled from the beach. One of the marathon runners from Argentina had let every inch of his body come in direct contact with the Antarctica Ocean (i.e. he was naked). He was naked, facing all of us with his hands raised into the air, and yelling that he was free.

I understood. The moment was freeing.

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