Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The things we do for a good cause...

I figured it's about time I actually posted for you poor people about the Polar Plunge!

It was actually - dare I say it - fun! All the anticipation and camaraderie made for a good time - and it didn't hurt that the concession place for the event was selling alcohol. About an hour before the plunge (11:00 am) I did something I never do...I got a spiked hot cider. It had rum in it, and I swear that made all the difference for me. It warmed me up more than coffee, and kept me warm straight up until we jumped in the water! 

My mom went, and between the two of us we got some not-so-bad pictures!

Cam and I before our icy plunge!
You can't see my costume in this picture, but our team decided to dress like Smurfs, hence Cam's blue shirt and red hat (he was Papa Smurf). I was Smurfette!

I actually dyed the shirts (and my leggings!) myself because I couldn't find shirts that were the "right" blue. You'll see in the following pics that the rest of our team didn't care (lol, costumes were poorly planned) but I really think ours turned out great. I even knit hats for us because normal sized cheap-o beanies don't tend to fit Cam's big ol' head ;)

Here are the rest of the pics! Enjoy!


Lining up to meet our destiny!

In we go!!

My cousin said the look on my face says it all :P

This is my "I'm so cold take the picture so I can get these clothes off!" face. And no! Cam's beard is not iced, we painted it white for his costume :)

This is the time where I say crazy things: The plunge itself was not so bad. It was like 22* on Sunday, but the water was warmer (something like 35*...it has to be at least 33* to plunge). Because the water was warmer than the air, jumping in, though cold and shocking, was not as bad as getting out.

Don't get me wrong! My body's FIRST instinct was to GTFO the water. I literally went in, dunked my head (because that's the way to really do it!) and clambered out. But the air was so.cold. on my wet clothed skin! I just wanted to tear my clothes off and wrap myself in a towel ASAP. Unlike my insane boyfriend who actually *enjoyed* this whole event...after taking this picture he said, "It's actually not that bad!" and started proposing plans for next year's plunge. 



Weirdo.

But back to what I was saying - the jumping in, not so bad. The getting out and changing...so numbing! There were people in the changing tent (like the woman next to me) who were in a kind of euphoric, drunk-like state. The woman next to me couldn't stand up and kept falling into me. Trying to get the dress I was wearing off was epically hard because it was cotton (no stretch), kept sticking to the shirt and leggings underneath, and with the woman falling into me (and my numbed legs trying not to shake) it was quite difficult. At one point I offered to go get her help because I wasn't sure she was okay. But after she got dressed she seemed better.

When I finally got changed I realized my mistake of not bringing a second pair of shoes (I know, stupid) and went to find my mom and Cam. On the shuttle back to our car I wrapped my feet in a towel, and when we got to the car I blasted the heat on my feet to warm them up.


So overall, as I said...not too bad. The waiting outside was cold, the water was cold, but the changing was the worst part, and also not horrendous. I also managed to raise almost $350, which is pretty cool. And yes, Cam and I have already talked about next year, so it looks like this might be happening again (hopefully with some engagement from our friends as well!).

Other than that, things are just plodding along. I bought a book last week that's started a whole new Spring/Summer challenge for me, but I'll hold off on that post for a few days.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Donations are accepted until May 1st, so if this story has shocked and amused you, maybe you'll consider donating! Here's the link :)

Have any of you ever done a cold water challenge? This was my first - I didn't even do the Ice Bucket Challenge this summer (no one challenged me...though I have other thoughts on it...). It turns out that the Polar Plunge started in Illinois because the Special Olympics did. I think that's pretty cool! Would you ever consider doing a challenge like this? Do you think we're crazy?!

Comment and let me know - I'd love to hear!

x




Friday, February 27, 2015

Ladders

Beware. Wordy, motivational type post ahead.

Last week something really struck a nerve with me. I hate using the word "unfair" because it sounds so sophomoric, but something really, really unfair happened to my friend. I'm not going to go into it because it's not my story to tell, but it got me thinking.

To vaguely describe the circumstance - she bore the brunt of someone else's bad judgment. It can be argued that this other person was trying to save face for herself - acting blameless in a situation where she definitely needs to take responsibility.

And in the midst of all this I went to get my coffee, and in the cafe there's a sign with this quote:




This quote. It led me to reflect on some stuff that happened during college, and reminded me that I never, ever want people to think of me as a "ladder climber". I don't want to be that person who steps all over other people to get where I think I want to be. I always joke by saying "I don't care enough about anything to __________," but I really don't care enough about anything to walk all over other people to get there. And I feel like most people who have been walked on at some point in their lives can relate.

Let's take the college example. I helped start a group on campus with another girl - we knew each other from class and that was our common ground. Over the two-or-so years that we interacted with oneanother, I grew to really dislike her. There are people who still call us "friends" I certainly don't, and never really did, consider her a friend...but whatever...the things that go on when no is looking, eh? Friends should be on equal footing with one another. If someone feels the need to voice their superiority to you - however cloaked it may be - that person is likely not your friend.

Anyways - I think a bit of perceived competition caused her to see me as a threat, and before I knew it I was getting angry calls from her at 8 or 9 am yelling at me for having not done some innocuous task. Or for not doing something that I couldn't do. For example, our school had rules about booking rooms, and if you didn't have a certain title you couldn't do it - she was the group president (that's another story) so she had to do the room booking. Yet cue an early call about how I'm useless and not pulling my weight and how she has to do everything! There were some other examples, but I definitely got told that I slacked off and provided nothing useful to the group, regardless of what I did.

All because we applied for the same scholarship (which, ps, neither of us got) and she (I think) saw me as a threat. It wasn't until the scholarship that she became outwardly hostile toward me, and actively started putting me down. It sucked, but at the same time I realized I could have a say. We were on a peer-level, and one day, as she was bellowing at me through the phone while I was trying to get ready for class, I realized I could stop her in her tracks. I said, "S, I don't have time for this bullshit," and hung up on her. That was the last time she called to bitch me out about anything. The cold-shoulder behavior continued, but I found the hilarity in it. She saw me as a threat, and decided to bring out her claws. I decided to ignore her put-downs and focus on what I had done well, as well as the humor in her attempts to shame me.



Indeed, I find that the best solution when being walked on is not to lash out, but to get a good chuckle at how serious other people are about their lives and ambitions. It doesn't mean you shouldn't have ambitions, but it begs the question: How swept up in all your own stuff do you have to be to not see if you are hurting or distressing people around you with how you're approaching those ambitions?

That's wordy. I just mean...is your life so important that you need to harm those around you? Are you so insecure that you must make others feel bad about themselves?

Now, none of this means "take it lying down." You should absolutely, 100% stand up for yourself. That's what I did the day I hung up on Miss Moody. It was what I did when I showed her the paperwork that said (paraphrasing) "President or Treasurer must book rooms." I just countered her claims of laziness with proof of what I'd been doing, which she, in turn, had been ignoring.

Make noise, and make yourself heard.



Listen to this cat! Though finnicky creatures they may be. (Although let's be honest, a positive reaction - as opposed to talking down to and blaming the other party - is best. But they should still know they share blame, even if you never explicitly say so.)

Depending on the situation, standing up for yourself may be hard work, and it may be time consuming (I know it has been for my friend), but it's important work as well. If you say something it's out there - now let's say that person decides to walk on or place the blame for their inaction or failure on someone else. Well...you once said something. And now they've said something. The effect may not be instantaneous, and you will probably never get an apology from the person who walked all over you, but one day it will come back to them.


I really have been going on for quite a while now. But I guess my main message is have your ambitions - be creative and cunning and try to achieve them. But be cognizant of the effect it is having on the people around you.

Because if you're at the top and no one under you likes you, you're probably not going to have a very fun time up there.

(Also boys and men, etc. You get it.)
Peace out, everyone! Hopefully you'll hear from me again this weekend!

x


Thursday, February 26, 2015

8801

Check that out! Got over 8800 steps on a workday! I'm pretty excited. Now it's off to bed.

Goodnight, blog world!

x