Adventure Travel, Antarctica, Inside My Head, Videos

Plunging into my Fears

20 Comments 17 January 2013

The beach where my fear lived

The beach where my fear lived

I had made up my mind, I wasn’t going to do it. Nope. Not doing it. Yes, I was feeling slightly guilty, but dammit it was cold outside. I’m old, and maybe I should just be ok with acting my age for once – I don’t need to prove anything.

The wind was howling, and the fact that once you actually plunged yourself into the freezing cold water then you had to run back to the beach, dry off – OUTSIDE, put all of your warm clothes back on over your freezing wet ones, and finally take a zodiac back to the boat was just a bit too daunting. It’s Antarctica for God sakes – no one really need to expose themselves that long to the elements all for a silly challenge and bragging rights. Damn bragging rights.

I had made up my mind. I was going to sit back and watch. Maybe take a few photos, but stay in my warm Canada Goose jacket snug and surrounded by feathers. I had decided to officially ignore the Facebook comment by my friend Warren who when he saw I was at Deception Island said “ I hope you are planning to swim. We’ll need pictures to brighten our day.”
Damn you Warren. I will say that the internet connection was down and that I never saw that . Poof – it’s out of my mind.

But then I made the mistake of eating lunch with her and that’s when she said it…

She innocently polled the table of people to see who was planning on doing the polar plunge later that afternoon on our 2nd landing at Deception Island. I was sitting with people may age or older and everyone of them one by one said they were going to pass. I felt a little anxiety drift into my body, and as I swallowed hard before I replied, “No, I don’t think I’m going to do it.”

“Reeeaaally?!” she replied in an astonished voice. “I thought of all the people on the boat that you would do have to do it for your writing!” she quipped.

I smiled. I sat silent – but my brain was going in overdrive. Dammit. This morning I had forgotten that I was a writer, a blogger – here to cover things. I had started to believe that I was just like everyone else on the cruise – having a vacation – carefree. But dammit, she had a point. She somehow tapped directly into my weak spot – work, obligation, and responsibility. I actually should do it I thought to myself.  Stupid ‘should’.

The guilt was starting to tug harder and harder at my brain. I was mad. I was weak. I decided to wear my running clothes under my landing apparel just in case.

But honestly I already knew. My whole body slumped in the surrender – I had to do it.


You can follow in Sherry’s footsteps all the way to Antarctica. Plan your trip of a lifetime to Antarctica with ExpeditionTrips and save 5% on your voyage rate – exclusively for OttsWorld followers

Disclosure: ExpeditionTrips and G Adventures hosted my Antarctic Peninsula Cruise. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!

Your Comments

20 Comments so far

  1. Bravo! I loved that movie!

  2. Really not sure I could do this one….brave!

  3. Kristi says:

    Good job! The Polar Plunge is on my bucket list items of things to do. I’m glad you faced your fear.

    Great video,too.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Wow, I’m not sure if I cuold do this! Good on you forfacingyor fears and doing it. :)

  5. Angela says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed that… the video and especially the inner monologue build-up. Kudos for very literally taking the plunge!

  6. Mark H says:

    I’m so glad you did it – a once ina lifetime opportunity however silly the idea of swimming in Antarctica may sound…

  7. Anne says:

    You are fabulous!!

    I was laughing during the whole video, mostly because it reminded me of when I travel and force myself to do something I really don’t want to do…but feel like I will regret it if I don’t…like bungy-ing in NZ or paragliding in Nepal.

    Your bravery was both entertaining AND inspiring! Cheers!

  8. You are a crazy woman. What a trip!

  9. Alexa Hart says:

    Wow, good for you! Cold water is one of my weaknesses!

  10. Vera says:

    A-MAZ-ING. I basically screamed along. Why don’t you get a funky penguin-wetsuit when you do this? It doesn’t seem fair! Though it makes taking the plunge even more impressing – congrats:)!

  11. Good for you. You are a braver woman the me for sure!! And you did i to entertain us. Thanks!!!

  12. Dan Lester says:

    I did it too. Well worth doing. And I was 68 at the time. I DO have more “blubber” on me for insulation than you do, but it was still a mite chilly.

  13. Kellie says:

    Congratulations on the plunge!! I returned from an Antarctica trip last week and am still buzzing from taking the plunge, also at Deception Island. I’m enjoying your Antarctica posts. Did you return with thousands of photos like I did?

    Happy travels :)

  14. Deb says:

    hahaha, I love this! I know exactly how you feel. I didn’t want to do it either. We had to jump off the ship for our polar plunge and I was terrified. I don’t know what is worse, having to run into the water and then drop yourself in, or jumping into the bay and having to swim back. It’s all damn cold either way!
    I am so proud of you for going for it and I know that you must now so happy that you did it. It’s the ultimate bragging rights! I love the look on your face, you were so like “I do not want to do this!” Great job and great video.

Share your view

Post a comment

Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
New here? Then Start Here.

Where am I and Where am I going?

Minnesota/Wisconsin -> Nebraska

Receive Ottsworld Updates via Email

green line
green line

green line