Today was the Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for the Oregon Special Olympics. Barium, a member of the Sick Town travel team (basically that means they are the girls who play in bouts against other leagues), started a Sick Town team for the plunge, and several of us joined in to raise money and -- eek -- jump into the Willamette River in February.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should add: it's 50 degrees out, right now. I think they said at the event that the water was 42 degrees. That's *plenty* cold, but it's not really the same as jumping into the water on Jan. 1 in Minnesota, for example.
We dressed as derby girls (there are pictures, and I will try to get a copy to post here), complete with black eyes courtesy of Mama Slam (she put purple eye shadow on us). Slamchez, by the way, is amazing. She's shorter than I am (and y'all know, I'm pretty short), and if you're on the derby track you do *not* want to get in her way. That little lady will knock yo ass down!
We didn't win the costume contest; oh well. The guy who won first prize had a wonderful costume. He was done up as a housewife, in a bathrobe, curlers and plush turtle slippers. He had a cigarette dangling from his mouth (unlit), and he was brandishing a toilet brush. I would've given him first prize, too. (Someone took a picture of me with him, but I have no idea how to get a copy, dammit.)
There was a nice lady, probably about my age, taking pictures and asking questions. She seemed pretty fascinated with us. It was funny, at one point she said, "You all seem so *normal*." Crackr was like, "We *are* normal." (Which is funny, because "normal" isn't the word I'd use to describe Crackr. "Awesome," "hilarious," "gorgeous," "brilliant," yes. "Normal"? Maybe not. :-)
But of course, we *are* normal, as normal as anyone is. We have jobs, and kids (some of us), and we're part of the community. If people are surprised to see how normal we are, then it's probably a very good thing that we're getting out and doing stuff like the Polar Plunge. It can't hurt, if people think, "Oh, those Sick Town girls are great. They jumped in the river for Special Olympics!"
And we did, too. Well, it was really more like wading. They had an area roped off, maybe 15-20 feet back from the shore. We all agreed that we would go to the rope. For me (and for Mama Slam, and Crackr most likely), that meant I was in deep enough that I kind of had to swim. When I was coming back, at first I was dog paddling but I wasn't actually getting anywhere ... that was a little scary. But then I got moving and got the hell out of that cold, cold water.
Note to self: next time, bring dry shoes to put on. It was pretty nasty having to put my nice, dry socks into my sodden Nikes. I took them off when I got to the car, and drove home barefoot.
Great job, Sick Town girls! Thank you Barium for making it happen! Our team raised $1470 for the Special Olympics -- yay us! Yay Barium, Crackr, Kant, Mama Slam, Tammy, KicknerAss, DTrain, Shamrock, and the boys who joined us whose names I didn't quite catch! Go Sick Town!