Nice day for a dip

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Brave participants jump into the outdoor pool at Saturday’s Polar Bear Plunge event at the Cullman Wellness & Aquatic Center. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN – It was a gorgeous morning for a quick refreshing dip, and 67 brave souls rose to the challenge at the Cullman Wellness & Aquatic Center’s annual Polar Bear Plunge Saturday. The air temperature hovered around 50 degrees as the plungers gathered around the outdoor pool.

Even as Aquatics Director Dianne Evans explained that the hot tub would be off-limits for 10 minutes after exiting the 44-degree water, the participants were not deterred. After a brief countdown, everyone took the plunge! While most managed to get out of the water as quickly as they entered, a few lingered in the pool for several minutes. 

Nathan and Rebecca Land came from Eva along with their daughter Kai-Lynn for their first Polar Bear Plunge.

Said Rebecca Land, “It wasn’t as shocking coming out as I thought it would be.”

“But it was shocking going in!” her husband added. “It’s over real quick and it definitely wakes you up.”

Kelsey Lawrence of Cullman jumped in with her son Caleb. This was their second year joining in on the fun.

She recalled, “Last year it was much colder! Last year it hurt when we got out. We ran to get inside but it hurt our feet. This year I wasn’t yelling to get inside! This year was not that bad.”

Evans, who has overseen the last three Polar Bear Plunges, said, “Last year, I think it was 9 degrees outside and the shallow pool was frozen. We had 67 register this morning compared to 45 last year. We might have had a few more come in last minute today.”

Polar Bear participants received more than bragging rights. Those with wet hair received new CWAC insulated cups with goodies from eos and Cullman Chick-fil-A. Penelope Randall was the big winner as she won a 12-month membership to CWAC. 

The Polar Bear Plunge is part of CWAC’s annual Community Wellness Day, a culmination of the preceding Community Wellness Week.

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