“If your friends jumped in the lake in January, would you?”

Strolling toward your January jump into the Portage Canal...

Did any of your mothers ever tell you:  “If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you?”  Your mother meant:  “Hey, kid!  Think for yourself!  Don’t just be a follower.  Don’t jump in the lake in January just because your friends are jumping in the lake.”

Did we take her advice to heart?  Or did we follow our friends where they decided to go?  Did we jump in the lake in January if our friends decided it would be fun?


Yesterday, up in Hancock, Michigan, lots of folks decided to listen to their friends.  Who knows why?  Someone said, “Hey, it’s Heikinpaiva!  Let’s go jump in Lake Superior!”  And lots of friends said, “OK.  Sounds like something fun to me.”

They dug out their bathing suits and sandals and–by golly–they jumped!  We were there to witness the tomfoolery.

Add a cartwheel on the way to the hole in the ice...


Don't be afraid--you can do it!


Looks like even the elderly are heading out to jump!


One of the "grannies" takes the plunge!


"And if your friends all acted like zombies on the ice, would you?"


Hula girl




Pure enthusiasm!!


Now comes the big question:  If your friends jumped in the frozen lake in January, would you?  Would you even consider it?  Do we have any takers out there in blog-reading land who would take the Big Plunge?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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26 Responses to “If your friends jumped in the lake in January, would you?”

  1. HEEEEEEEECK NO!!! Sorry, I’m a chicken when it comes to cold water!! 😛 It would have been a blast to see it, though!! Love the shirt that says “Beer is your friend”!!! 😀

  2. Karma says:

    No way, José! I don’t even like jumping in the cold water in August!!!! Love your pictures though!

  3. Dawn says:

    ummmm…no. Nor would I wear a red bikini in public at any time of year! LOL! But I will defend to the death those that want to!

  4. Susan D says:

    Hula Girl and Red Bikini Girl are stunning shots … my faves. No – this kind of stuff is not my thing at all. You’re awesome for being out there capturing the free and zany spirits!

  5. Reggie says:

    Eeeeeeeckkk!!! No way! I’m a total wimp when it comes to cold water, never mind CLOSE-TO-FREEZING water.

    But I think it totally rocks that the people in your neck of the woods have this much crazy fun in winter – and I love that you’re out there, taking some *stunning* pics, and telling us all about it.

  6. Erin Maclean says:

    OMG. Makes swimming in the San Francisco Bay child’s play. Water was 51 deg. f. I think I lasted about 7 minutes before I couldn’t move. Bravo to those hardy souls!

  7. bearyweather says:

    Nope … no desire to be shocked by cold water … don’t even like cold water in the summer time. A neighboring town had their “polar plunge” two weeks ago. Over 80 people jumped in .. it was during the cold snap and at least 10 below zero … that is craziness. Granted the water is warmer … it is still crazy.

  8. sonali says:

    Oh! this sounds really cold!! I would luv to jump into that chilled water lake, feel the extreme shiver from the backbone and then how about a cup of hot and strong coffee! 🙂

  9. Carol says:

    Absolutely not! I’m sure I’d have a heart attack when I hit the cold water. But I would join you out there taking pictures. Love yours, wish I had some too.

  10. jeffstroud says:

    Great photos! We just had a jump here too. They do it in the ocean! There was a gathering of photographers but I did not attend, to damn cold out there.

    I am sure these folks work up to this day, you know practice getting into cold freezing water… but what the heck do I know.

    Fun blog!!!

  11. flandrumhill says:

    Never mind friends. My SISTER in Northern Ontario was a habitual January dipper. But even that wasn’t enough to convince me. I’ve always been an independent thinker 🙂

  12. Kathy – Many years ago when my sister and I were on vacation in Finland. We were sitting in a steam room with a multitude of other women – all Finnish (neither of us speaks the language). All of a sudden, the women got up and ran out of the room — shrieking. We thought the place had caught fire or something awful, so we followed along. They all ran down to the fjord and jumped in, we did likewise. Mind you, every one of us was in nothing more than our birthday suit. It was FREEZING cold water; it felt like broken glass grating our skin. All of the other women were cracking up. We were clenching our chests in a foolish attempt to ward off a heart attack.

    Turns out, this is what they do — take an ice cold plunge after steaming.

    Would I ever do it again willingly? No way!

  13. Kathy says:

    I would say that 99% of you would NOT choose to jump in the frozen lake. And I am 99% sure that I wouldn’t either!! Thank you for stopping by for the Polar Plunge. Thank you for joining in this mid-winter fun. 🙂

  14. Robin says:

    It looks like so much fun, I might… 😀

    You captured it all beautifully.

  15. Barbara Rodgers says:

    No! No! No!

  16. Kathy says:

    So far (on Facebook and here on WordPress) I have only heard three or four people say they might do it. Everyone else is basically echoing Barbara: No! No! No!

  17. john says:

    Kathy, from the photo it appears they were on the Hancock side, but how far out were they and how deep was it? (Leave it to two children of the 60’s to be discussing “how far out”)

    • Kathy says:

      Barry says they were out about fifty yards and it’s probably 20 feet deep. There was a diver in the water with them.(I had to wait until he was home before responding to your question. As much as I like math, I’m terrible at distances and depths.)

  18. Gerry says:

    HAAAA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha . . . no.

  19. Marianne says:

    Oh my gosh, Kathy! I don’t know what to say. I wonder what those snowmobilers are thinking?

  20. Nye says:

    Lol, looks pretty cold. I wouldn’t do it even if you paid me. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha, Nye! What about if someone paid you a thousand dollars? Ten thousand? A million? I am afraid I would cave it–I mean jump in–for a thousand. lol!

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