Polar Plunge Challenge
Besides having to wake up early for school, I was never a morning person to say the least. Most likely, cause I usually woke up to the painful sound of my mother’s electric juicer, as she prepared her nauseating version of a “nutritious” beverage, accompanied with breakfast for my sister and I. I guess eggos and bowl of froot loops didn’t cut it. She refused to let us leave the table until our glasses were completely empty, which typically resulted in major agony, or tears. Depending on how my overall morning experience went, it definitely determined what my overall attitude and mental approach was when starting my day. Although that torture was part of our daily routine throughout the school year, my most vivid memory as a child each summer, was my morning routine at “America’s Camp” the summer camp I attended each summer from 2004 to 2011. It wasn’t your typical alarm clock, to say the least. This bizarre habit challenged me mentally, and demonstrated how influential of a role individual determination and fortitude play in stepping out of my comfort zone to overcome the challenges I face in my daily life.
America’s camp was a week long adventure camp in Western Massachusetts. The camp consisted of children who were lost a parent or was affected after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. There were various activities and water-sports available daily. I was seven years old the first year I attended camp, I remember being so anxious and apprehensive about being away from home and my family for the first time. Luckily, my sister attended “Americas Camp” with me, which certainly encouraged me and my efforts in stepping out of my comfort zone. When hearing about the Polar Bear Challenge at first, I did not have the slightest desire to engage in such a routine because I always believed I wasn’t a “morning person.” I could not begin to perceive how waking up at the crack of dawn, walking down to the dock, and jumping into the lake was enjoyable in the slightest bit. Also, the infamous polar bear challenge t-shirt that was awarded to the ones who completed the week long challenge wasn’t even that admirable. On my second day at camp, I was able to chat with my sister at lunch. After I explained how much I missed my mom, friends, and home, I couldn’t help but notice her change of character when describing how she had participated in the polar bear challenge that morning. The sound of her voice changed from a serene tone to an ecstatic one as she transitioned to share her new experience with me. I knew she was enjoying making new friends and all participating in all the activities at camp, but I was beyond puzzled to hear her relishing about what seemed to be a delightful way to start a day. It was at this point, when my opinion of the challenge slightly altered and I knew I had to at...