This is whatcha do on New Year's Day around my hood. It is plain and simple. You put on your bathing suit and a very warm robe, or coat , and head down to Lake Washington at noon. As the clock strikes 12, you run , with a large mass of people, into the Lake, immerse yourself and run the hell out as fast as possible.
Our family has participated in this crazy tradition since 2006. The best part is the glory AND the polar bear patch you receive after you accomplish this feat of toughness and insanity.
This year I opted to film it, as I am recovering from a bout of pneumonia.. I did feel like I missed a special ritual of cleansing. If you are ever in Seattle for New Years Day, come down at noon for a dip or at least a viewing of the spectacle.--Anne