Sunday 8 February 2015

The Polar Plunge As An Existential Experience

It's Ontari-ari-ario in February.  Need I say more?  And my crazy, thrill-loving friends have decided to do the Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics Ontario.  I personally think they're nuts.  I mean, I don't even plunge into water mid-August!  This group of friends is also my co-workers at Rogers Krock Center for Savor Marketing Group.

Our team lost an integral spoke in the wheel of our vessel about a month ago.  Our Chef Guy is likely giggling today as he watches us from all angles.  He shakes his head and covers his mouth as he laughs at our crazyness.  We wanted a way to pay tribute to Guy and his memory, so being an avid swimmer, the plunge seemed fitting.

We, the many many staff members at Roger's Krock raised $3000 in total.

The Krock jumpers were split into groups as follows:

First jump:  Angus MacDougall, Sebastien Kirkwood, and Andrew Kerslake.

Second jump:  Brittany Young, Krystle Landon, and Heather Lees.

The video of both brave jumps can be seen HERE.

To be honest, it's difficult in the video to see the nerves among my jumping friends.  With the wind chill it was down to -29 and hard to watch even bundled up!  I just sort of set my ears and eyes to absorb though, as I watched and listened to the many people as they came out of the abyss of freezing cold water. Some were panicked.  Others close to tears.  While others still seemed ready for round two.  One particular jumper Angus, is basically a plunge pro.  This was his third one and he raised the most donations for an individual.  Amazing.

Many new jumpers expressed very similar sentiments.  I heard many say that when their head popped out of the water, all they could think was:

"Where am I? Who am I? And what the hell am I doing here?"

See the link with Existentialism?  :)

So why were they there, doing that which could leave them with hypothermia?  What causes a group of people ... strangers even to band together for a cause for complete strangers?

Why do we do that?  What force is this that spurned some of my other co-workers named Poppy, Rayna, and Melanie to raise an additional $93 on Friday night?

Existentialism asks:  Why do we exist?

I think I know why.  Humans are pack animals.  True pack animals like Timber wolves resemble humans very much in how they stay united, each in their place.  All members are provided for.
Humans work better in a connected team.  People helping people isn't only about home hardware!!

Friends call me an activist.  That feels good.  My hunni used my environmental activism as the reason for switching from possibly working in the Nuclear industry, to hopefully working in the Wind industry.  I don't think I'm alone though.  Especially on a day like today.  Man .... that was one huge bunch of freezing cold Kingston and area activists eh?!

We exist to help one another.  And we find fulfillment in doing so.  I think it's a human thing.

"You do it for yourself.  You don't expect to change the world.  You don't even expect to influence your family or your friends.  You do it because you can't not do it and be who you are.  Or who you're meant to be." ~Martin Sheen

Personally, I think Martin is shooting low.  I say .... influence everyone everyday to love more.

The rest will follow :)   Way to go Rogers- Krock team!  I'm glad to be a part of you, and forevermore the Polar Plunge will be one more reason to remember Guy.

Last week, a facebook friend posted this pic on my wall and said:   "So you!! xox"

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