Saturday, January 30, 2010

Midafternoon Dip in the James River

The beauty of my life is that I actually have fiends who call me up in a raging snowstorm and ask, "Want to go down to the James River and watch three friends take a plunge in the water?"

Now that you mention it, I would love to watch insane people strip down and risk hypothermia for the sake of an experience.

What time are you picking me up?

So he ferried me down in his able vehicle, picked up one of the plungers (who laughably told me that once I got caught up in the excitement, I'd want to join in. It was to laugh.) on the way and down we headed to Tredegar for the spectacle.

First they erected a tent, complete with towels, blankets, dry clothes and a jug of chai tea, while the sane among us stood watching in the blizzard.

And then they actually started disrobing; one wore a bathing suit, one wore long underwear, but just the leg portion and one, the guy from Florida who kept saying his friends at home would never believe him without pictures (my friend was using a large lens to capture every single goose bump) wore just his underwear.

Oh, and they all wore shoes of some kind.

And then they went in the James River in a snowstorm while we watched.

The first brave soul stood there up to his knees acclimating and finally just dropped back into the water.

The second was Florida guy, who just dove right in and under, like a lunatic.

The only female participant was more gradual and took her mug of tea in with her.

She slowly went lower and lower until only her tea mug remained.

I admire their nerve, their circulation systems and that they now have a story they can share for the rest of their lives, but, honestly, I enjoyed it just as much from the frigid, snowy riverbank.

I even found myself making painful cold noises in commiseration as they each submerged.

Best of all, I got to watch the experience and I don't imagine I'll forget it any time soon.

Warm and cozy at The Village eating lunch afterwards, my photographer friend and I agreed that some things we only need see, not experience.

Is this a great life or what?