Central Texans dive into 2018 with Polar Bear Plunge

It's a New Year's tradition that sounds crazy to some but exhilarating for others -- The Polar Bear Plunge.

It's a New Year's tradition that sounds crazy to some but exhilarating for others -- the Polar Bear Plunge. People across the country, including Central Texas, decided to keep the tradition alive despite the cold weather to start 2018.

The city of Pflugerville put on it's 7th annual Pfreeze Pflop. Every year, the organizers choose a different food bank to support, as you have to bring a canned or boxed good as your ticket of admission. Jeff Quick is one of these participants, as he said he did some research ahead of time about what Monday would be like. 

"There's a cold shock," Quick said. "It just washes over your whole body. It's hard to move, but if you relax, then you just get right through it. It was fun."

The organizers saw about 60 people go down the slide and 120 items were collected. The donated goods will be delivered to the First United Methodist Church of Pflugerville Tuesday afternoon.

Kate Knapek also decided to participate in Pflugerville and she said the motivation for her to venture into the cold water is actually her father.

"My parents have been doing it for years," Knapek said. "My dad had kidney cancer two years ago. This was the first time I did it with them. He was my inspiration because if he can do it, then I can do anything."

Casey Nall's motivation came from where she works -- Camp Gladiator. Nall and all her coworkers decided to do the plunge as a group.

"We thought for a fun culture event, we'd get a lot of trainers and all of our campers out to do the freeze," Nall said. "The worst part is standing in line because you didn't have any shoes on and the steps were cold."

Barton Springs Pool also held its own Polar Bear Splash from 9:00 a.m. in the morning until 2:30 p.m. Admission was free for all of these swimmers, but staying warm was something each participant would have to figure out on their own -- like Maureen Grady. She did the plunge last year but brought two of her friends to do it with her this year.

"It's a mind trip," Grady said. "I know that it's warmer in the water than it is outside, so it's just kind of exhilarating to know that I'm jumping into technically very cold water."

Grady said it's not only a mind trip, but an experience that will never leave her memories.

"Adverse experiences and conditions always make the most memorable experiences," Grady said. "This is ingrained in our bodies forever."

© 2018 KVUE-TV


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