My Cold Water Challenge

  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Independent columnist Dan Brown accepted a Cold Water challenge from the Berkeley High School softball team.

I remember seeing this whole phenomenon called the “Cold Water Challenge” back in February on Facebook hailing from the great frozen tundra called Wisconsin where they invented cold water.

My Facebook friend Sue Nash had been called out and she had posted a video accepting her Cold Water Challenge.

I imagined Sue was about to do something really crazy like jump into Lake Superior. Back then, I remember thinking, “That’s crazy,” because Lake Superior didn’t thaw out until a couple weeks ago.

But she did, in 20-degree weather no less, after organizers sawed a chunk of ice out of the Great Lake so these people would have a place to jump.

The movement got its legs around here about three weeks ago as Cold Water Challenges began popping up on Facebook with call-outs to support the Berkeley High School baseball and softball teams.

Over the past month there have been people doused with big buckets and not so big buckets of icy cold water. Don Reidel with Moncks Corner Public Service Department went big league on us when he and co-worker Stefan Moreau were doused with a bucketful of water from a front-end loader.

I never paid much attention as these were baseball and softball parents and I left that clique years ago when my kids graduated high school and stopped playing sports.

Maybe I should have.

There’s always one in every crowd, and this year it was Heather Samples.

She called me out in the Cold Water Challenge last week, and on Friday the 13th it was my turn to step under the bucket.

I’ve been immersed in my share of cold water over the years.

Trout fishing in a shaded stream up in the Michigan Lower Peninsula wearing a pair of leaky hip waders, which when full, caused me to sink into the murky depths faster than the Titanic.

I swam with the fishes.

Pumping water out of a 400-foot deep well into my shower. This was prehistoric water that hadn’t seen the light of day since Jurassic Park. That one was a 90-second bath.

I was immersed when baptized more than 30 years ago, but the water was lukewarm and I went commando beneath the baptismal robe because no one told me I needed to bring a pair of swimming trunks along and I opted to save my Fruits of the Loom for the church service and the itchy, wool suit I wore that morning.

I flashed 500 people in the sanctuary, the audience at home watching on closed circuit TV, the women of the Baptist Auxiliary, and my mom when I emerged from the baptismal pool wearing a flimsy robe.

This night, I joined my parent and player brethren out at the Berkeley softball field to meet my fate and I took my dousing with stoic aplomb and managed to endure the icy chill with just one string of colorful adjectives.

The water was cold — though not Lake Superior cold, and all things considered it was a fun time. These parents grow on you after awhile.

It makes you wonder what the school board is thinking when deciding to pick on these nice people.

I’m stiff and sore though, from the full-on body seize from the shock of being doused in icy cold water.

Someone gave me a bath while I was sitting down and I’m stiff and sore.

I can think of better challenges than a Cold Water Challenge though.

How about the All You Can Eat Wings Challenge?

Or the Who Can Take The Longest Nap Challenge?

Now those two would be right up my alley.

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