The Polar Plunge

It may not be ideal for students to take the polar plunge in the middle of the school day, but its nothing to flip (turn) out about.

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It may not be ideal for students to take the polar plunge in the middle of the school day, but its nothing to flip (turn) out about.

Maria Thames, Staff Writer

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As you walk onto the pool deck, you smell it right away: the stench of chlorine. You see the steam coming off of the water from the humidity, and the layer of slimy film that floats on top of the water. As you take the plunge, you feel the freezing, Arctic waters of the LHS pool. Now that you can no longer feel your limbs, you have achieved what is considered the average temperature of, you guessed it, the swim unit.

What makes the swim unit so special, you may ask? Well for starters, it makes your body move in ways that it’s not used to. One of my personal favorite moves is when you have a pull buoy in between your thighs and your face head first in the water, so you somewhat resemble a legless turtle, slowly struggling stroke by stroke. Also, learning to do a flip turn is quite easy — it’s as simple as a flip on land, except you have to make sure not to drown or hit your head in the process.

What’s even easier than learning how to flip is finding the perfect look for the unit. I mean, who doesn’t love walking around looking like an egg with a swim cap on their head? Goggles also leave a great raccoon-eye look (running mascara really helps with this too, ladies). Not one for goggles? Don’t worry, your eyes will only burn for the duration of the class period.

The aftermath of the swim unit is also what makes it so beloved. Once you’ve finished your workout, you grab a large, warm and fluffy towel as you take a leisurely stroll to the locker rooms, of course, with plenty of time to spare. Even after you rinse off, the stench of chlorine lingers on your skin, almost as if the pool wants to leave its mark on you (because the goggle marks are just not enough). Getting dressed, especially for the girls, takes no time at all, and I would certainly recommend wearing tight pants on the days you swim. After finishing changing and heading to your next class, the feeling you have is great. Exhaustion, slight irritability and numerous people asking you why your hair is wet — does it get any better?

In the end, I know it’s not the most pleasurable thing to take the polar plunge during the school day, but this unit isn’t anything worth dreading (or treading). Whether you’re a freshman experiencing the notorious swim unit for the first time or a senior who simply wants it to be over and done with, just know one thing: we’ll all struggle together with the people next to us (well, maybe not — we do have to swim in a single file line, after all).