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Azucena Flores

Taking a Risk, for Charity

by Azucena Flores Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The coldest day that Madison has seen this winter was the day of the 2016 Polar Plunge. Perfect. I may have asked too much of myself by deciding to do the Polar Plunge. I had the genius idea that I should get out of my comfort zone by doing the Polar Plunge to help raise funds for the Special Olympics. Let me tell you a little bit about me - I am from California, I love warm weather, and the cold is something I prefer to stay away from. Also, did I mention that I cannot swim very well? Jumping into water without a life jacket is not my idea of a good time. When it comes to water activities I am risk averse, but the fear of missing out on an activity with my closest friend in the MBA program helped me gain courage to participate.

The theme of the Polar Plunge was 1990's artists, therefore, my friends and I decided to be the Spice Girls. I think we made a very dynamic and fun group. We spent that entire morning singing Spice Girls songs and having a lot of fun. When it was time to jump I got cold feet (no pun intended!) and almost didn't go in the water, but my friends encouraged me and I did it! My dear friend Stephanie Penny, who is also part of the Risk Management & Insurance MBA specialization, had one of the coolest jumps and she inspired me not give up and jump in.

As Scary Spice, I had the genius idea to wear high heel boots, which made my run into the water really funny, so I hear. The shock of the cold water was really rough and I found myself freestyling my swim to get out of the water as quickly as possible. Of course, making the decision to jump in cold water on the coldest day is Madison might tell you that I am not that logical, which continued when I got out of the freezing water, ran directly to my towel, and jumped into a hot tub not thinking clearly. Though my towel was soaked, my spirit was still high knowing I had such great friends around me.

Participating in the Polar Plunge was outside of my comfort zone but I am extremely happy that I did it. Having my friends and classmates there to support me was special and made the experience great. Believe it or not, I am already looking forward to the 2017 Polar Plunge!