Plunging into the New Year, Polar Bear Style

turning blue for a good cause

There is a reason why I am wearing a red wig and am standing next to my new blue friend. I went out to the Boulder Reservoir on New Year’s Day in support of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Why blue? Many who turned out for this cause on a sunny, but cold  winter day turned blue, including me!


I was one of the crazy people at Boulder’s Polar Plunge!

Shivering makes you warmer, right? We had to strip down and then wait our turn. I looked forward to getting out of the 27 degree air and into the balmy 37 degree water.

dancing with a new friend

I’m dancing to keep warm with my new cross-dressing friend.

boulder plunge2

Even the cameraman was shivering.


Holy Jeez it was cold, but I kept my eye on the prize. I had to touch the ice.

plunging 3a

I shouted my mantra over and over to myself. “GO! GO! GO!”

boulder plunge 4

The hardest part was losing momentum as it got deeper.

Boulder polar plunge 5

I made contact. I repeat. I made contact. The professional diver out there asked, “Do you need help? Will you be able to make it back on your own?” Are you kidding? I have never been more motivated to keep moving as when I turned around and saw the shore.

I think some of the guys may have experienced some shrinkage issues.

boulder polar plunge 6

I found it hard to breath for while.

Boulder Polar Plunge 8

I regretted not gaining 20 pounds over Christmas.

boulder polar plunge 7

“Yes! Shock has set in! I can’t feel my legs. Am I still standing?”


Am I a Wild Rider or what?

Boulder Polar Plunge1

Are you next?

Would you ever take a plunge into icy water?

Stay tuned for more Wild Rides…

The next Use Me and Abuse Me Day is Friday, January 4th.

Related articles:

9News – Boulder Polar Plunge Raises money for charity

Get Ready. Here It Comes…


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Filed under Humor, Life, Photography, Sports

161 responses to “Plunging into the New Year, Polar Bear Style

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  4. I do a lot of fun stuff, but I don’t know that I could do this one. Last year my boss jumped into the ocean in Seward Alaska, in January. NO WAY I would do that!!!!! Kudos to you for going for it.

  5. I love you, Susie, but that opening pic hit me like a ton of bricks!

  6. Lady, you is crazy! So, that’s a no. No, I would not do that.

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  8. This is crazy! Full respect to you for that, Susie :) You wouldn’t get me near it. We had a 107 deg F day a few days ago, and I was still moaning about the cold sea water. But a great way to start the year!

  9. I’m cold just looking at those pictures. :)

  10. Holy Crap! I can’t believe you did it! Way to start the New Year Wild Rider!

  11. You’re brave. I would never attempt to do such a thing. :-O

  12. Thank you to everyone who was willing to “freeze the day” for Alzheimer’s. We had a great time at the event and we hope to see everyone at the 2014 Polar Plunge.

  13. I’m freezing my Bon bons off at the mere thought. Great cause, but I think I’ll stick to sponsoring someone crazy like you rather than have to do the deed, myself. ;-)

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  15. Would you ever take a plunge into icy water? Hail No!

  16. Brrrrrr… I end showers with cold water every day, but the thought of that plunge shivers my bones.

    • Oooooh! That is really good for your hair too!
      It did give me the shivers…..for hours! In fact I could hardly stand the one ski run I took yesterday, but it was below zero with wind chill. It is supposed to be warmer tomorrow! I’ll be back out there in the snow!
      Thanks so much for coming by Nelle and for being such a great supporter of my blog. I really appreciate it!

  17. Hahaha.. you are a wild and crazy gal, Susie!! I’m so impressed!! You did it and your raised money for an important cause.. without needing help from the guy in the diving suit or the guy with shrinkage!! Way to go!! And you rocked that wig, btw!! Wishing you and yours all the best in 2013!! xxx

    • Thanks so much Barb!
      It was a great cause. :)
      I had to wear the wig to keep my head warm. I was afraid a hat would fall off.. It was really fun and I would do it again as long as it is above 5 degrees and not a blizzard. Brrrrrrrr…..

  18. OH WOW!! What a way to begin the New Year!! And what a great cause to participate in! I commend you because, to answer your closing question to the readers, no no I just don’t think I’m as brave as you, Susie Blue! :)

    • No???
      It was pretty dang cold! I am glad that I finally did it. I remember going out there to watch many years ago. I don’t think there were as many participants since it was much colder this year. Last year it was above freezing!
      Thanks so much J!

  19. That is an event where I would gladly whip out my checkbook, but nope. I wouldn’t stick my big toe in the water. I got chilled just looking at your pictures and video. The closest I’ve come to that was to put on a two piece bathing suit and sun myself in the dead of winter…because a radio station wanted to know what crazy thing we (the audience) were doing that day. I didn’t stay out long. Good for you though. I admire people brave enough to do things that set my teeth to chattering. :)

  20. Wow that makes me shiver. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do one of those plunges. COngrats on making it all the way to the ice. And lol on shrinkage issues. ;)

  21. You are tougher than I am. I couldn’t have even stood out there in 6 layers of clothes. Next year, dye Roxy blue and carry her on top of your head.

  22. Shiver me timbers. And here I thought I was being a He-man by dunking my face in ice water every morning. NOT. I’m gonna start training for a polar bear swim event by skimming my toe. If the toe comes back, I’ll go further.
    You really ARE crazy. But in the most fantastic of ways.

    • Hahaha! Thanks Cayman. :)
      It was crazy, but thank God for adrenaline and the fact that I reeeeally wanted to do it! Last year would have been easier since it was above freezing. I had been under the impression that we jumped off a pier which would have been so much easier than forcing ourselves to run in. I didn’t see anyone chicken out!

  23. OMG, Susie, … just OMG. You are truly a wild rider … and for a fine cause. B-b-b-b-b-b-b-ravo! *shivering uncontrollably*

  24. Susie, you are crazy in the absolute best way possible. That is insane! I am cold in my house and always wearing a sweater or coat. LOL. I can’t fathom running into the freezing water. Damn girl! You are amazing!

    Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Debra! I don’t know how amazing it is compared to completely crazy! Hahaha! I am trying to motivate to go skiing. It has warmed up to 21 degrees so I guess I am outta here!
      I hope you will come back to “abuse me” tomorrow! :)

  25. Remember the Seinfeld show when Kramer falls asleep in the hot tub, and it cools off, and he can’t warm his core temperature? How’s your core temperature?? YEE HAW!!! This week I’m celebrating 10,000 visits to my blog by emulating your boundless generosity and thinking up ways to boost the flow of blog-love. Maybe I can funnel a few more merrymakers to your party.

    So, will you take the plunge again? Did the Alzheimer’s Association make a lot of money?

  26. Karen McFarland

    Yes Susie, you are crazy! But hey, it was done for a great cause! How very awesome of you! Okay, true story. My husband, the crazy Irishman that he is, decided when the kids were younger that on January 1st, we would have our very own Polar Bear swim in our pool. Brrrrrr! Yes, and we did. Our two boys and one of their friends were told that for every lap in the pool they would recieve one dollar. Funny what kids will do Susie. Our boys weren’t so keen on this endeavor, but did it anyway because it was their father’s idea and they didn’t want to look like whimps. But their friend on the other hand saw this as some kind of financial windfall, don’t ask me why, but he swims like thirty laps in the freezing butt pool No joke, it was kinda hilarious. Ah, what can I say. Boys will be boys. LOL! That’s my Polar Bear story. :)

    • That is hilarious! That kid was motivated! Love it! I wonder if they would do it again?
      It was fun, but next time I will be sure to get some video…
      Happy New Year Karen. Glad you are back!

  27. I wondered on the morning of January first how many lunatics were out there jumping into icy water. I knew it was a lot, but didn’t think it included someone I could actually name. On the other hand, I’d never stopped to consider the fact that the water is warmer than the air. So I have just one question: What’s with the red wig?

    • Yep! You now know one of those crazy lunatics!
      The wig kept my head warm and they encourage costumes… I wore the same outfit as my header.
      I was being sarcastic about the air temperature and the water temp. Stick your hand in ice water and see what I mean! Hahaha! ((((cold))))

  28. Madness! Belated Happy New Year Susie!

  29. In a word? NO WAY. Whoops, that’s two. ;) Yet another brave adventure I experienced vicariously through you. Wowzers! Glad you’re okay! LOL

    Happy New Year, Susie! May 2013 bring you loads of happiness.

  30. Looks ultra fun, but super cold. What a savvy way to start the New Year! Happy New Year to you and the family, and thanks for keeping the communication. Much appreciated.

    Warm regards,

    B. : )

  31. That is awesome that you took the plunge! You are a brave soul! Even better is that it was for a good cause. Happy New Year!

  32. Be-bopped over here from August’s site, Susie, because I could not believe I missed a post.

    Um. When I said I might be visiting the Rockies and Denver area? I think I won’t plan that visit for Arctic Plunge Day. I hear it makes a great spectator sport.

    What a great way to kick the adrenaline into gear for the new year.

  33. You actually did this? YOU ROCK! I see the pictures every year (great photo essay, by the way) and shudder just thinking about it. Kudos and double kudos to you!

  34. Heaven opened its arms and the angels sang. Thank you from all of us. You are indeed courageous and yes, wild too!

    • Oh my gosh! You are so sweet Sheri and you made my day. I think the angels sometimes shake their heads… :)
      I may be getting wilder with age, since I don’t care what people think so much anymore.
      Thanks so much for your support! (((hugs)))

    • Thanks Colin! Even though Danny switched off the video by accident and didn’t get any footage of me in the water, he handed my phone to the guy next to him who must have been a professional photographer. I lucked out!
      Happy New Year to you!

  35. Congrats to you, Susie and, no, I wouldn’t ever do that…
    I think, now, I might have a – stroke – !

  36. I hope you feel good about yourself, Susie, for I’ve suffered hypothermia just from reading this post and watching the video. I also hope you had a heater hidden under that red wig.

    The two word short answer to your question, “Would you ever take a plunge into icy water?” is: Hell no! Hot flashing 24/7 isn’t even enough to compel me to do that!

    At least it was for a good cause, even though I can’t quite see the connection between how plunging oneself in frigid water equates with finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Frankly, suffering freezer burn on my entire being is exactly the type of thing I’d welcome forgetting about.

  37. Yes! You are a wild rider! No! I will not be next, though my eldest son did a polar bear swim with his karate class. (They stayed in and did a collective underwater kata together!) Happy new year, Susie!

  38. I would do a lot for blog-post fodder, but not that. Susie, you are amazing.

    • Thanks so much Pat!
      I have always wanted to do it. This was the year! Last year was warmer, but I spaced it out. The year before was in the single digits and a blizzard! Now that would be crazy…. :) Would I still do it? Hmm… :)

  39. You are now, certifiably, insane. Speechless!
    You are 100% awesomesauce!

  40. Until now,..from reading some of your previous work…I would NEVER have taken you for the “Frigid” type Susie…Heh

  41. Where do I even begin? I’m so glad you took a picture with the Blue Guy, he looks like fun. I was shivering just thinking about you in that water! Were you the only female brave enough to partake in the festivities? I absolutely LOVE the photo of your big finish. Finally, thank you for inspiring all of us to live life to the fullest, even it that means giving your goosebumps more goosebumps.

    • Thanks so much Lisa! Danny missed the video. Oh well. I don’t think many really watch them anyway. :) The photos were great! There were lots of girls there including the trans-gendered cross dresser in the mini skirt and loafers! Hahaha!
      I should have exchanged business cards with the blue guy. He probably blogs too! My brain was frozen and I didn’t think of it!
      Happy New Year and thanks so much for being such a great supporter!

  42. Clearly, Maine is colder than Colorado since you’re able to go swimming. :)

  43. Hey wild one! That’s hilarious! After I posted my bucket list yesterday, I thought to myself “I should add Polar Bear Plunge to my list”. Well, now I’ve just gotta do it! New Year 2014 I’ll probably have hypothermia!
    Way to go Susie!!!!!

    • You can do it Denise! Some are worse than others depending on where you live. One blogger said they run into the ocean and call it a polar plunge. What???? Cheaters… :)
      I feel like I still have hypothermia. I went skiing today and it was so cold I could only make one run. It hovered around 8 degrees, but was below zero with wind chill.
      Thanks so much!

      • Here in the Seattle area we dont’t often have any ice to run out to, but it was around 30 New Year’s Day. Since I’m part reptile, that will be plenty cold for me! There’s a large crowd that does the plunge in Lake Washington.

        Loved your pictures!!

  44. You are a wild one indeed,, Susie! Thanks for giving it a go and supporting a great cause!

  45. I actually have done this exact same thing when I was a kid, but I did it on a dare and not for a good cause. Kids are stupid like that. Good for you!

    Can’t wait for more adventures this year!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • That sounds like a great story! Have you written about it?
      I am glad that you lived to tell the tale.
      Thanks for supporting me in 2012. There will be more adventures that is for sure!

  46. Fabulous – another one done and dusted!
    I have swum in Cape ‘cold currents’ from the South Pole which even kill the fish, but I think the worst was in Namibia. The desert is unbearably hot, but the sea can be so cold that a man’s midsection bits give one scream and vanish.

    • Shrinkage too? Youch!!!! That does sound cold. I guess if it gets any colder it turns to ice so it hovers a little over freezing everywhere. I wasn’t in for long.
      I have a harder time with the heat so the dessert would take its tole on me.
      I hope you have a very calm and comfortable New Year!

  47. Pretty impressive! (tummy cold is the worst?)
    You are now officially able to say “I’m chill.”
    Want to say “Thanks for the effort” for those who can’t.

    • Thanks so much! I think I went into shock. It was hard to breathe on the way back from the ice. Chill is right! Hahaha!
      As long as I am healthy, I will do it again next year!

  48. Hi,
    Oh Wow, that was unreal, I know I could never do that, I can’t even manage to go to see snow in case I can’t handle the cold. :lol:
    Good on you, I admire what you did for a very good cause, and to keep going to touch that ice, awesome. I think there should be some sort of certificate for people that take the plunge.

    • I thought there would be a certificate too! They are emailing photos so maybe I’ll get one to print out.
      I have to admit that I am still chilly. We are up in the mountains and it is supposed to be 19 below zero. I guess that is -28 C.
      Great to see you Mags!
      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  49. Susie you have more nerve than me. Good cause aside, winter swimming is discouraged by New England Puritans, something about clothes. I try to support causes near to my heart but if the local food bank asked for a volunteer to take a dip in an ice covered pond, they’d be looking real hard to pull me out of the bunker. Ya done good. Happy New Year.

    • Thanks Tom! It was something on my bucket list. Although it was cold this year, at least it was calm and sunny. I think I will do it again next year! :)
      Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for being a regular at the Ride in 2012!

  50. Hi Susie, first time here via Renee’s tweet. You are definitely living up to your blog’s title with this post. Geez, that was nuts! Every time I see these events on the news I shake my head. Then I admit that they’re braver than me. That list of people now includes you. It would have been great to see you emerge from the water in the video. Would it be too bold of me to suggest that you go back and do it again? You know. Just for us. :)

    • Thanks so much for stopping by the Wild Ride Ray!
      I didn’t realize there was no video until we were in the car on the way home. Danny was so bummed when he realized he turned it off. Oh well. There is always next year! I think I will bring two cameras for videotaping just in case!
      I would like to say that I was afraid or regretting my decision, but I really wanted to do it! Everyone came out alive so I figured I would survive too!
      I hope you’ll stop again soon!

  51. Holy crap! You are cray-cray! I told the people at SURVIVOR that I would be up for anything…

    …unless this as the year they decided to do something like go to Alaska. Because I hate the cold THAT much. You are awesome. And it was for a good cause. So good for you! What a great way to start off the year! (Admit it! You were a cheerleader, right? That final pose? Perfect cheerleader form!) ;-)

    • Busted! I was a cheerleader my sophomore year in high school! Hahaha! :)
      It was terribly cold. We spent NYE outside for 4 hours while Kelly DJ’d as one of ten for the City of Denver on the 16th Street Mall, Polar Plunged the next day and now we are in the mountains and skied in 8 degree temps… I don’t think I will warm up until spring!
      Next year I will get some sponsors. Yep. Definitely doing it next year. :)
      Thanks Renee!


  53. You are indeed, a wild rider, Susie. Not only wouldn’t I take the plunge, I can’t even bring myself to go out into the freezing cold to watch others do it! When I was growing up in the Adirondack region of New York, my father used to swim in the freezing water in winter. He claimed it kept him from getting colds. He’s 80 now, and though he no longer does that, he is really healthy.

    Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to reading more wild rider posts in 2013!!

    • Thanks so much Mary! I kept thinking of people like your father who used to do that and then jump back into the sauna. It does get your heart pumping and it is probably very good exercise for it!

  54. We have the Polar Plunge here every year but it is running to take a dip in the ocean; not a frickin’ frozen over lake. You are a qwazzy person Ms. Lindau!

    • The ocean???? Hahaha! I am from hearty stock although that being said, I don’t think any of my relatives would have jumped in. :)
      Thanks for stopping by to virtually plunge with me!

  55. You’re nuts! Love it! Happy New Year!

  56. I knew you were Wild, now I know you are Crazy.

    p.s. what do you mean the crazy people jump on the ice… the really crazy people jump into the water!

    • True! They put a stop to the ice jumping on the ice thing pretty quickly, but I don’t think I would have been able to get up on it anyway. The water was too deep out there!
      It was very refreshing Ted. You should try it sometime!

  57. ERrrrggghh. Wowza! You are a brave lady. It would take more than 20 pounds extra for me to give that a whirl! Well, you are certainly wild and got 2013 off to a big start! Thanks for sharing the cool pics!

  58. Susie, I have to commend your effort. My father died from Alzheimers.
    You are TOO WILD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re Irish? – I knew there was something special I liked about you. I have family in County Cork, Ire.

    • It is a terrible disease.
      Cool! I think we hail from Trim in N. Ireland. McCartan is my maiden name. I loved Cork when we were there in 2001.
      Now that I learned the ropes, I would like to get a bunch of sponsors and raise some money next year. Yep I am doing it again!
      Thanks Paul!

  59. You really are a wild rider! Way to go. They do that near here and I am not tempted lol. :0)

  60. Very Good. Very Cool……COLD. Hats off to you. I remember one time taking a rafting trip down the Pere Marquette river in Michigan. We eventually became so hot that we decided to cool off by plunging into the River. It was freezing(though not as cold as your adventure). In that moment of immersion I was more alive than I had been in 20 years. It was completely invigorating. Thanks.

    Keep Blogging. Keep Writing.

    • Thanks so much!
      It was invigorating although I think I passed that on the Shock O Meter and became a Susiesicle! Hahaha!
      I wish the air had been warmer, but somehow I warmed up again…. hours…. later.
      Happy New Year to you!

  61. Susie… my dear… that’s completely mental!

    • Hahaha! So true and yet I survived to tell the tale! It would have been better if I had jumped on a plane to a beach somewhere.instead I am looking outside at the snow. Let’s go skiing!


  63. OH MY GOD! You are officially my hero, Susie! This is amazing. Truly I am beyond words here. I couldn’t even handle just being in shorts in that cold! How long before you warmed up? How painful was it?

    I will have to show this to my husband because they did the Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics here in Maine and he really wants to do it next year.

    • Thanks Darla! I watched them many years ago and have always wanted to do it.
      I think I went into shock for a while. :) My feet were the worst and I think the adrenaline rush helped. The trick is not to put your head under. I had read where that kind of nasty brain freeze is hard to recover from.
      Tell your husband to GO FOR IT! He’ll be glad he did. You should too!

  64. YOU DID IT .. YOU DID IT..:)
    I forgot all about it yesterday as they raise money for cancer here doing it. Speedo Steve organizes it.. and you do not want a picture of him here..:)

  65. Dear Susie,

    One: Happy New Year.
    Two: You’re crazy.
    Three: That’s a good thing.



  66. Good on you! Both for supporting a worthy cause and risking life, limb and wig. Yikes, way to tear it up.

  67. “I can’t even feel my goosebumps.” Best. Quote. Ever! Way to go, Susie!!!

  68. Oh heck nooo!! Never would do that (bad heart), but I so admire your courage and dedication Susie, you’re awesome!!

    • Thanks John! I channeled the hearty Swedes when jumping in the water even though I am 75% Irish!
      I am just glad that the line moved along pretty quickly and it wasn’t windy!
      Happy New Year!

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