The shock was unbelievable. The instant I hit the surface, I thought I was going to die.
I was still sinking into the frigid water. I kicked my legs and waved my arms and arrested my progress towards the bottom of Lake Tahoe. I started to come up. The water was incredibly blue, and incredibly cold. "Only one degree above freezing," Brian had said just before he jumped in, twice. "A day ago it was probably snow in the high country." (Above: The perfect tonic for a long run. Photo credit Brian.)
I had never experienced total immersion in water this cold before. My head popped above the surface. Brian and the rest of the Band of Outsiders were laughing and waving at me from the pier I had jumped from.
No time for chit-chat. The ladder to the dock was 12 feet away. Like a triathlete crawling over everybody impeding his progress in the water, I flailed my way to it. I couldn't climb up it fast enough. (Right: Do I look cold? Photo credit Brian.)
"Aren't you going to go in again?" Brian asked. "I jumped in twice."
I looked at this young man, figuring that since he was about half my age, he was far better suited to repeated shocks to the system than me. "No," I said, standing there dripping on the dock, the 60 degree air feeling positively tropical after being submerged in the freezing water. (Below: Mission Accomplished. L-R, the 2008 BOO and the legs we ran in the Relay, B (7), Bex (3), E (5), Brian (1) and yours truly (6). Missing, Tami (2) and J (4).)
But it had been fun. Fun like going up the last hill on Leg 6 of the Lake Tahoe Relay had been fun. Sort of like, a highlight of my trip to Lake Tahoe, you know?