Taking the plunge
February 21, 2012
CAMP HUMPHREYS -- More than 200 brave participants got a four-month jump on summer by taking part in the garrison's annual Polar Bear Plunge here Feb. 18.
In spite of the 18-degree weather and icy cold water, Soldiers, family members, and civilians waded into the pool and shivered their way to the other side.
Many went in slowly, although their pace quickened substantially after entering the nearly frozen water.
Most participants completed their daring dash in about three minutes before heading inside for warm towels and hot chocolate.
Participant William Emmens said he is a veteran of Polar Bear plunges.
"I've done it a couple of times before," he said. "It's cold, but it's fun.
I've been in colder ones. It's exciting."
Lance Matthews said that he was persuaded to take the plunge this year.
"My kids talked me into it," he said. "It was fun. It felt like your feet were on needles and soon as you stepped in. I'm waiting to get the feeling back."
Andrea Fukuzawa decided to join in despite saying she is "not good with cold."
But she's glad she did it. "It's exhilarating," she said. "It felt good."