Adventure #34 – The Dirty 8 Plunge

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way 

-Frank Sinatra

The lyrics above are from the classic Sinatra song, but if you make one small change from the word I to WE then this can truly be the Adventure Girls mantra.  Ok, the word mantra brings me back to the Bikram Yoga Adventure and I think I am going to need a drink…of ice cold water… to bury that memory deep down to the depths of my memory again.  But, I digress.

The Sinatra song should have been playing on repeat during our 34th adventure together. Tina, Suzy and I had originally planned to do the official Special Olympics Polar Plunge in Woodbridge.   The weather was looking a bit sketchy during that official plunge (wind and storm) and we feared that they might cancel it so we decided we would do it OUR way.  I am not sure, but I think this was the first adventure where we had to go rogue.  The three of us were nervous and we had the typical Adventure Girl Planner questions swirling around. “Will this be adventurous enough?” “Will the girls want to hurt us?” “Will we come home with some sort of disease?” After saying, Maybe, to all three questions we made our plan.

Suzy’s neighbor lives right on the Occoquan with a deck ripe for plunging so we had our location.  Thank you kind neighbor!  Next, we came up with some arctic style treats for lunch and we stocked up on materials for the girls to make a special keepsake t-shirt. When we realized the temperatures were going to be spring-like we really got nervous.   We are going to be jumping into bath water.  This might be the least adventurous thing we have done. This adventure certainly reminded us that things are never as they appear.  Please enjoy this list of “4 Things that may go wrong at your made up Polar Plunge and 2 Things that may go really, really right!”


  1. Our texts the week leading up to an adventure are legendary.  I save them for days when I need a good laugh.  Everyone is always predictable.  There are a few of us that always overly concerned about what they should wear and inevitably bring a suitcase of choices.  Here are a couple of “normal” texts between us.  I will leave to let my dog out and come back to 50 missed texts.

So, on to how texts can lead to an adventure wrong.  While texting with the group I                 had a side text going with Suzy and Tina.  We were trying to come up with a name for            our do it yourself plunge and decided on the Dirty 8 Plunge.  Which I promptly shared            with the GROUP instead of my co-planners.  I FREAKED OUT!  They will surely figure            it out when I  randomly text, “I Love the Dirty 8 Plunge”.  Immediately, I text Suzy and          Tina and beg them to tell me what to do.  I didn’t wait for a response and replied to                everyone.  Here is my lame attempt at back-tracking.  They were sweet and told me              later they believed me, but I am not sure I believe them.


The take-away: Don’t hit send until you know you aren’t being an idiot. 

2) Don’t assign Kat to take care of the craft table. I set out to Michaels full of inspiration and excitement.  We were going to make our Plunge T-shirts and they were going to look like they were straight off a Pinterest board. I found Ice Blue t-shirts, bought some fabric paint and a pack of doilies to make snowflakes.  I also picked up what I thought was a polar bear stencil, but it ended up being a sticker.  When I laid out everything we got to work on our shirts.  It didn’t go as planned and I am pretty sure we all now have beddy time shirts.  Sorry girls, I tried.  Next time I am putting Kelly in charge of crafting.  That girl has skills.

The take-away: When in doubt when choosing crafting supplies throw some flowers in the cart for hair decor. It will deflect from poor purchasing choices. 



3)  Don’t give the Adventure Girls rules.  We will most certainly break them.  This is really not a wrong for us, but more a wrong for the one giving us the rules.  The rule maker this go around was Suzy’s husband, Jason.  Here is what he laid out for us.

General Rules:

Don’t go in my shed.

You can look at the XJ but no touching.

If you sit in my recliner please return it to factory settings.

Take care around my wieners they are easily aggraivated.

I will be home around 1pm — leave me some cake.

Thank You.

We were actually walking toward our plunge site when a notification dinged on my phone from Jason.  I read it to the girls and without even missing a beat we all turned back toward the house and promptly broke every last one of them.  Except the recliner.  We realize that is sacred ground and we complied. We love you, Jason!

Here we are un-following the rules.

The take-away: Come on, don’t give us rules. It’s been 7 years.  You know better. 


4) It doesn’t matter  what the temperature is outside, in February the water will ALWAYS be cold.  There will also always be 2 girls that are hesitant at first to do the adventure.  Usually, we have patience and give encouragement to those 2 girls that are just “sticking a toe in the water”, but when the rest LITERALLY have their entire bodies in the ice cold, dirty river water, patience is out the window.  This is what the 2 who were sitting on the docks saw when they hesitated..



Ok, it was Patty and I. Surprised?  You may see smiles, but the words getting thrown at us were frightening to say the least.  So, we plunged.  And then the 8 of us screamed and threw elbows to get out.  The temperature of the water was in the 30’s and as you can see, super clean and clear. 🙂   Take another look at Stacy’s face. Would you want to jump in if you saw that look of agony.  When we got out we laughed so hard at the absurdity of what we just did.  I have not laughed that hard in so long.  It was truly a day I know we will never forget.  Speaking of days forgotten.  Maryhelen swears she didn’t take the Longwood swim test.  She did. Did you?

The take-away: Don’t leave a bunch a girls hanging in ice-cold water.  You will see a new side of Spunky Tate.

Ok, so what is the saying 4 wrongs make 2 rights?  Here are the 2 things that can go RIGHT when you plunge into dirty water with your girls.


  1.    You will use the experience to help others.  We didn’t just jump to jump.  We jumped for Trevor’s Treasures.  We donated $150 to this most deserving non-profit.  It is especially dear to Stacy as her sweetie is and will always be Trevor’s dad.  For more information please feel free to visit their facebook page:

2.     If you take the leap and find a group of girlfriends that challenge and inspire you there is not a single thing you cannot do.  You understand that when you complete something together…arms intertwined…you are better for it.  It is something not easily described.  I encourage all of you to find some friends and to go for it.  I promise you that the wrongs will always outnumber the rights, but that is what is so fun!  Life is unpredictable and the waters are at times murky and cold, but when you jump with great, supportive friends by your side you will not regret a single moment.  DO IT!

BONUS RIGHT: Make Blue Hawaiians or as I like to call them “The Dirty 8 Plunge” cocktails prior to doing something stupid like this.  They help.



Here we all are before, during and after! THANK you beautiful women for one of the best days ever.


NEXT UP: Heather and Stacy are planning our April Adventure!





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