Every year for the past four years a good friend of mine has invited me to jump into an ice cold frozen lake on New Year’s Day. You see, she is the director of a non-profit, and jumping into the lake raises money for her organization…a lot of money. Over ten grand! That may be a sliver of a massive budget for the likes of the American Cancer Society, but to a small organization, ten grand can represent a large percentage of their budget. The first three invitations I swiftly declined. This year however was different. I actually thought about it for more than seven seconds.
My thought process went like this.
1. Hmmmm, maybe I can just make a $25 donation to her organization, sleep in, be warm and dry, and consider what a good deed I did by donating money.
2. I could just flat out say “Uh well, uh, no thanks”.
3. I could lie and say I had to hang out with family.
4. I could actually support a good friend, pay my $25, get freezing cold, wet, and even make an hour and a half round trip drive to do so.
I knew I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn on my day off to jump in the lake. The whole lake jumping event didn’t start until Noon. Even with drive time and getting there a little early factored in, I didn’t have to leave until 10:45am, that wasn’t so bad. I convinced myself that it would be kind of fun. And more importantly I needed to support my friend. And so it was, I opted for number four, jumping in the lake.
Although I was miserably cold even when I was fully dressed and before I plunged my bikini wearing body into a ten by ten foot hole cut into fifteen inch thick ice, I managed to have a decent time. There was a blue grass band playing, tons of people around to cheer the lake jumpers on, and most importantly there was someone willing to hand me my towel as soon as I emerged from the frigid water.
So that’s what a good friend will make you do, step out of your comfort zone. Turns out I was happy to do it and felt great about supporting an event my buddy worked so hard to put together. Next year will be our 25th Friendiversary, it’s a biggie. We’ll be sure to celebrate!