By Terry Taln

Jumping in the lake when the temperature is 1.6 degrees is not for everyone. Yet 50 brave souls held hands as they embraced the frigid waters at Willow Beach on New Year’s Day.

The cold plungers were joined by 20 supporters who stayed on shore with towels and blankets at the ready. Everyone was asked to bring food donations for the Keswick Community Fridge and they came through strong.

The plunge, dubbed The Beach Party, was organized by Jamielee Morin and Portia Chambers from The Well Room, a hot yoga studio in Keswick, with the meetup scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

Watching them trying to organize 50 people, all in varying stages of undress, I thought of a mother duck, agonizingly trying to line up all of her ducklings in a row — some swimming the correct way while the others just scattered.

At 12:01 pm, everyone was finally lined up ready to get into the water. The goal for maximum benefits was to stay in for 2 minutes.

“My feet felt so cold I couldn’t really tell what I was stepping on; it physically took my breath away,” admits Shawna Morfe, who was cold plunging for the first time.

“I would have been happy to make it 30 seconds, so when 2 minutes passed, I was excited and proud. A fantastic first experience!”

Shawna Morfe
Portia Chambers & Jamielee Morin with food donations

According to Morin and Chambers, cold plunging has many health benefits which include, reducing inflammation, helping with stress and anxiety, detoxing the body, and improving skin health.

For anyone who wants all this but does not see themselves fully plunging; cold showers, as well as hand or face emersion in ice water at home offers some of the same benefits.

The Well Room at 905-806-0777 offers scheduled workshops for cold plunges. Balance Health Solutions at 905-960-0823 in Jackson’s Point also offers guided instruction on a daily basis. Yes! I did say daily, even when the lake is frozen.