It’s not often I get way out of my comfort zone and try something I’ve never done before. I should say, it wasn’t often before I started transitioning. Before that little event I was pretty content not to do anything that might make me uncomfortable.
Now, being uncomfortable is something of a way of life–
Like it was yesterday.
Yesterday, the first of the year, I headed over to City Island to participate in the annual Penguin Plunge, which involves jumping into the Susquehanna River. As you may have figured out, living in Pennsylvania means it probably wasn’t going to be warm and you’d be correct: when I left to meet with my teammates it was 19 F/-9 C. At least the wind wasn’t blowing–yet. Anyway, I was ready for that weather–
I met up with my teammates, because we, the girls of HARD, were going to do the plunge together. Ariel Wildfire organized the event and I jumped on it, figuring what the hell, if nothing else I’ll contribute money. However, I did state on my page when I promoted the event that if I raised more than $75, I would take the plunge–
And you know I raised more than that. In fact I nearly doubled that amount, raising $146 total so far. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but I couldn’t kick in any of my own cash due to losing my job and with the exception of one $100 donation, the others were small dollar amounts.
Once all my teammates arrived we got together, registered, and waited. For a while we hung around outside in a gazebo, which gave me time to head down to the river and see how things were going.
The answer to that was–not well.
As you can see there’s a lot of ice on the river. That’s due to the extremely cold temps we’ve have in our area for the past couple of weeks. For the first time in a long time the river was completely frozen over, so when I took the above photo the River Rescue people were doing their best to chop open an area for us to dive in. During this time they were using axes to open the ice, but since that wasn’t working, a few minutes after taking that picture they broke out the chainsaws and started cutting. On a local newscast they said it was only the second time in like 24 years they’ve had to do so.
Since the time to plunge growing near my teammates and I headed to the warming tents and began stripping down into whatever garb we intended on wearing into the water. That meant leggings or shorts, and one one of us that mean fish net stockings and a green Derbyskinz, which is something I’ll probably wear during one bout when I get to that point. (Note: Derbyskinz is not only where my team gets their jerseys, but it was actually started by someone who used to play for HARD. She wore an outfit to Fresh Meat practice her aunt made for her and it became rather popular. Now they run their own business in Camp Hill.)
Naturally we had to get a team photo before going out:
(Left to right: Unchained Maryilly, Ariel Wildfire, and the Fresh Meat collection: me, Sarah, and Ashly.)
Matt Barcaro of local station WGAL News 8 was there and streamed the start. You’ll see us within 10 seconds, on the left of the screen. I’m easy to see because I’m big, I’m wearing a lime green tank top, and I have a GoPro strapped to my head. Watch us go into the water and come out right after!
Now, as I stated, I was wearing my GoPro and managed to shoot everything from my point of view. And here it is in all it’s chilly glory.
And just for the record, here’s a screen capture from the news stream of me coming out of the water. My face says it all:
After that we headed back to the warming tent and changed. It was strange watching steam rolling off my body and my feet remained numb for about 30 minutes after this little jaunt. So I just went home and chilled out, right?
Yep, I went skating and Unchained Maryilly, aka Mary, joined me because… well, we’re derby girls, that’s why! And I got video of us not only skating, but falling! Yay! (I spend most of my time skating behind Unchained, who is the woman on the YouTube splash for the video. She told me yesterday she wants me to certify so that she’s no longer the oldest certified skater–she’s 47 until the end of February.)
2017 was sucky. I’m hoping that 2018 is gonna be a hell of a lot better, and even though I’m out of work right now I still hold that hope. At least I started out the year right by getting out of the comfort zone and doing shit that even a year ago I might not have done.
I can only go upward from here, right?