Things to consider before jumping in a Lake...

You're probably busy thinking about what type of dinner to serve on the last day of 2012...fools!

Not me, I'm making plans to jump in Lake Michigan on January 1st...so whose the fool now wimps?

Now you might ask yourself, who wants to jump in a freezing cold lake on the first day of a new year?  I suppose that's a legitimate question...but then, there are a lot of legitimate questions like, "why stop at Starbucks or McDonalds for coffee, when you can make it at home for much cheaper"...why?  For the burn babies!  And the simple reason that our coffee maker broke and I've been too busy (lazy) to fight the crowds at the mall for a new one...

There are several reasons why I want to jump in the Lake (again) at noon on New Year's Day...although for the life of me I can only think of three at this moment...the first reason involves bragging rights for my children, my 20-something kids...you know how it is with kids, they're in their 20's, they gather around with their other friends, and talk about how crazy their parents are...at least in this case my jumping in the Lake trumps what all their friends crazy parents are doing..."Oh, you think you're mom's crazy...hey, my mom jumped in Lake Michigan on New Year's Day..." 

"Whoa.  Dude, that is crazy..."  Or dudette, I don't know what the young kids slang is anymore...the last slang I used correctly was "that's the bomb!"  For the record, don't say that on a plane.

The second reason involves my husband talking to his parents or friends "wanna know what my crazy wife did today?"  Yep, consider that the gift that keeps on giving honey.

But the third reason involved something more complicated for me...the "the symbolic casting off my old life, and embracing what the new year brings...and pneumonia...hey, someone has to keep Tamiflu and Alka Selzer profitable...

I did my first Polar Bear jump on New Year's Day 2004...I got up at 6 am, and made a big thermos of hot chocolate...I kid...I made a big thermos of Malibu Rum, and then I poured a cup of hot chocolate in it...my husband, his buddy and I got to the Lake around 9am so we could park close, and enjoy the festivities.  I wore an old sweatsuit, bathing suit, my radio station tee-shirt (always thinking of the promotion angle), and in a strike of brilliance, water shoes...thank God I had them too...because the single worse thing about Lake Michigan was sinking into the muddy cold muck...although the water itself, turned out to be warmer then the air...a nice balmy 35 degrees...which isn't much cooler then what it is out there in the middle of summer, with far less people...because ironically this beach was crowded on January 1st, with thousands of on-lookers, and a few hundred brave souls like me who thought this might be a good idea...which probably had something to do with the amount of alcohol we consumed before we went in...which brings me to the first thing you'll need to do before you jump into a freezing cold lake on the first day of the year.

Be drunk...very, very drunk.

It doesn't matter just how out of your mind drunk you are, because in this case, when you hit the water, you will immediately become sober, very, very sober.

And, secondly, make sure there are no very buxom hot babes in a bikini in front of you as you turn around to haul butt out of the Lake...because if you are one of the unfortunate ones behind this pole dancer, your husband will never remember to take your picture, because guaranteed, the hot babe in front of you will lose her top...and no one will ever know you were really in the Lake, because you won't have a picture to prove it...

"Hey Bob, how many pictures did you take?"

"Of what?"

"Me in Lake Michigan, silly."

"What?  Did you already go in?"

"You son of bitch!"

"Why don't you jump in again and I'll take your picture?"

"Why don't you take a picture of this!!!"  (I'll leave it to your imagination what I'm talking about.")

That night, on all three Milwaukee news stations managed to get the shot of the buxum babe climbing out of the Lake while blocking out her...um, girls...although I was too cold and tired to care, as I spent the rest of New Year's Day bundled under two blankets nursing my Nyquil and orange juice...

They say you forget how bad child birth really is after you've had your kids for awhile...and I can say it's the same for jumping in Lake Michigan...although it's taken about 8 years to start thinking that this might be a good idea, again.  Although this year, I'd be doing this for the grandkids, "hey, wanna know how crazy my grandma is..?"  

I'm thinking I'll skinny dip this year so my husband won't miss me getting out the lake, unless of course there's a drunk buxum babe in front of me wearing a bikini...sigh....think anyone will notice?

Cindy Huber

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