Okay, the question needs to be asked, right here at the top. "Are these people insane?"

That, legitimately, could be asked of any number of things surrounding our lives these days, but in this specific instance it's about people running into bodies of icy cold water in months like January. Sometimes groups of these like-minded people call themselves "polar bear clubs".

In these more modern times, many folks do it as part of a fund-raising event. The Michigan State Police Post in Niles is one of the groups participating and hosting as part of a state-wide effort. To that point, the Michigan Law Enforcement 2022 Southwest Polar Plunge is on Saturday Feb 5th, at the Watermark Brewing Co. in Stevensville, Michigan. Registration begins at around 10am, and then the polar plunge itself gets going at Noon. (I suppose you could start by dipping your toe in first, but don't be surprised if you get laughed at.) The really good news is, all this fundraising helps out Special Olympics Michigan. Here's how to get involved and help out.

Doing some research, polar bear plunges are more of a Canadian thing in North America, and also in counties associated with cold weather. Here in the United States, it seems like the borough of Brooklyn in New York City claims to have started this at Coney Island in 1903, and a group in Boston started in 1904. Also, in far South America, these polar plunges happen in July (as winter is opposite that in North America.

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One thing to keep in mind is if you're body isn't used to this, you may want to check with your doctor, as frigid air cause your arteries to constrict and on top of the exercise, much like with snow shoveling, could push you towards a heart attack.


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