Monday, February 2, 2009

We plunge because there’s an icy lake calling us to it

This Saturday, February 7, three very warm-blooded and warm-hearted VPR staffers – Jean Ferguson, Mitch Wertlieb and myself – will be diving into the near-freezing waters of Lake Champlain. Why in the world would three otherwise sane individuals consider trading a Saturday morning when they could be nestled warmly in their beds for a jump in the lake?

For one, it is the easiest athletic endeavor to train for. At this very moment, this frost-proof triumvirate is prepping by using the only known training method developed thus far. We fill our bathtubs full of cold water and then add several bags of ice cubes to the pool. Once the temperature of this frosty concoction reaches 33 degrees Fahrenheit, in we plunge. While neighbors bang on the walls to stop the caterwauling emanating from this Artic-like training camp, we remain submerged in the icy brine until we can take it no longer. Probably about a full 6 seconds.

Out we leap from our bathtubs, into a waiting towel before being swaddled in a Snuggie. The ease of training is but one reason for our nonsensical fascination with chilled Champlain. The other is our desire to raise needed funds for a very worthy cause. Jean, Mitch and I are excited to be helping Special Olympics Vermont, the beneficiary of the Penguin Plunge.

Lest you think that the Plunge will be called off if temperatures dip to some obscene number below zero, forget about it. The event will be held no matter how cold it gets and Jean, Mitch and Ric are going in the drink. Trust us, we have already checked for an escape clause in the agreement.

You can support your favorite Plunging Penguin at the following locales:
http://www.firstgiving.com/jeanferguson
http://www.firstgiving.com/mitchwertlieb
http://www.firstgiving.com/rictilecengeri

Thanks to everyone for supporting us. And please feel free to stop by Saturday to bear witness to this madness.

Ric Cengeri
Mid-day host
Vermont Public Radio

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