Tag Archives: Coney Island Polar Bears

Learning to Like It

I hate cold! I’ve never been a fan of snow–even though I grew up buried under it in the Midwestern USA. When I finished university, I moved to Texas and vowed never to live in a cold climate ever again. Hahaha. After Texas I misguidedly moved to “California”. But San Francisco is hardly the balmy, sunny heaven I had in mind. It took 15 years to leave and probably another 15 to dry out after being rained on so much.

During a snowy, miserable New York City winter a few years ago, my friend told me about the Coney Island Polar Bears She was a cub on her way to becoming a full-fledged member of the Polar Bear Club. All she had to do was swim 12 times in the Atlantic Ocean during the ‘season’–which runs from November until April. Because she was living in an unheated warehouse in Brooklyn with no hot water, and had been living there like that for 10 years, she decided a dip in the winter ocean sounded nice. But she also told me that it was a sure way to beat my fear of the cold. So I went with her and she was right. At first I went swimming every weekend, but last winter in New York I only went one time. And that magic cure didn’t work anymore. I was still petrified of the cold.

Skiing in Stockholm. I don't know why someone like me doesn't own a balaclava

Finding myself in Sweden this week, I decided another way to embrace winter is to do winter-type activities. Perhaps I could learn to love snow. So, I begged my boyfriend (who, because of some cruel joke played on my by the universe, lives in Stockholm) to teach me to ski. He is not Swedish either, but has super-human immunity to weather, especially cold. And, he wanted to get back at me for the group cycling class I made him attend with me. Even though a real skier would not call Flottsbro a real ski hill, I did okay. I fell in the snow exactly 17 times in 6 hours. But it was FUN!!!! And now I have a reason to like snow. In fact, I have a new snow-obsession. We are planning a ski trip to Bulgaria before the winter is over. That is sick . . .

Not very convincing, I know--but it was actually quite fun

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