Boy, was I wrong! Not only did she wake up early on her own, but the slothful movement that typically plagued our mornings was absent, as she quickly donned her swimwear -- shoes included -- and climbed into the car. She chatted nervously the whole ride there, and I could tell that, no matter the outcome, this would be a day to remember.
We arrived a little over an hour and a half before the Plunge to secure "prime" parking across from the Seawalk Pavilion. We then purchased the annual WaveMasters Society Polar Plunge shirt and posed for the traditional pre-Plunge picture.
When it was Plunge time, we joined the crowd and walked closer to the water. I held her hand and explained our plan: first, the Lifeguards would sound an alarm. Then, the crowd would run into the water. I warned her that most people would be screaming, but it was okay, because they were having fun. I told her we would wait until some of the people started to come out before we ran in, because I didn't want her to get trampled. As I explained the process to her, I noticed a few people around us watched and listened too.
Then, it was go time! We held hands, ran towards the ocean, and once the water her about thigh-level, she started to scream and tried to climb me like a tree. I scooped her up and proceeded forward until I was waist-deep. She had calmed down by then, and I explained to her that we were going to wait for a wave and then submerge. They had done similar exercises in a pool during her Summer swim classes, so I knew she would comfortable with it.
When the perfect wave came, I began a short countdown, and *swoosh* we were done! I asked if she was ready to get out, and she replied with a resounding, "No!" We remained in the water for at least 5 more minutes before she opted to play in the sand just on the edge of the ocean, so she could still catch some waves if she wanted.
Needless to say, it was a very proud moment/day for me, and I look forward to future Plunges with her.