Plunging for the Cause

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Wind whips through my hair causing it to tangle above me like a tornado. The sound of waves crashing in front of me is muted from the noise of the crowd around me. Cold, packed sand crunches under my feet as I jump up and down, swinging my arms to keep the blood flowing. Exposed arms and legs are covered in goosebumps at the first touch of the cold air.

I have to be crazy for doing this– the thought goes through my head even though this is my fourth plunge. It never gets easier but the excitement grows more intense with each year. I know now how hard it is to do, but I also know now how good it feels to come out of the water having accomplished the goal I set out to do.

The Special Olympics Maryland Polar Bear Plunge is on Saturday January 27th at Sandy Point Beach near the Bay Bridge. I’m plunging for the fourth time, but it will be my first time plunging alone. When my co-workers opted not to participate this year I stood my ground and insisted that I was still plunging. Every little bit counts and I’m determined to give as much as I can for the organization that inspires me with every interaction. 

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I’ve shared this story on the blog before but when I first came to work for Waterfront Partnership I started on a hot Tuesday in July not knowing what to expect. My boss told me to wear comfortable clothes the following day because I’d be running a bocce tournament with Special Olympics. Come again?

Not only did I have NO idea how to play bocce, I had no idea how to set it up and didn’t know what to expect when working with SOMD. The following day I was a ball of nerves but Sam, my contact with SOMD at the time, became a fast friend and showed me the ropes. We were just playing a game of bocce, it wasn’t a formal event and I didn’t have to be good at the game, I just needed to play and have fun.

I made friends with the athletes who played that day, the volunteers who came out and the folks who worked for Special Olympics. For six weeks we’d meet every Wednesday and I could hardly believe that this was my JOB. We made genuine connections, laughed together, sweat together and decompressed together after a long day of work. It was exactly what I needed and I didn’t even know it.

Since then we’ve hosted fundraisers at the ice skating rink and have worked together on various projects. I love giving back to SOMD and I’m looking forward to the Polar Bear Plunge 2018! 

In 2016 I raised $300, in 2017 I raised $600 and this year I am striving to raise $750 for Special Olympics of Maryland. I have $275 raised at the time of publishing this post and hope to raise the additional $475 over the next three weeks. Every little bit counts and if you’d like to support my fundraising efforts you can donate HERE

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  • http://kyleandjensmith.blogspot.com/ Jen

    This is awesome! I will definitely be donating later this week. :)

  • http://www.thefreeandwildblog.com Annie

    I am always so amazed at your dedication to this cause. It is straight up beautiful. Your heart for others inspires me. And I know that we relate to each other cause we’re both….delicate? grandma status? I don’t know how to put it but I know we both relate to hating feeling physically uncomfortable and so I TOTALLY get how BIG a deal it is to be plunging. Cannot wait to donate to this amazing cause. LOVE YOU!