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It is supposed to be very, very cold this weekend. Naturally. Because this Saturday happens to be the date for the Polar Plunge. The Polar Plunge takes place at Nashville Shores. Participants run into the freezing waters; in order to complete the challenge, they must get into their waists.

Yeah, guess who signed up for this?

That would be me! Me signed up for this! And I’m totally, totally excited.

The Special Olympics is an outstanding charity to support; everyone knows this. The athletes who participate in it are exemplary sources of motivation, joy, inspiration, determination and hope. All that being true… I signed up to do this because, when I had my first daughter, I made a promise to myself that I would teach her to actively embrace each and every day. I did not want my children to be afraid of living.. If they wanted to paint on the walls–what harm, really, does a few handprints on wallpaper do? If they wanted to dance sans umbrellas in the rain….what harm was there in that? Don’t songwriters and poets write about doing that? Why just talk about something when you could have a memory instead?

I lived my entire childhood in a state of fear. I never went to parties as a teenager. I kept my guard up. And while that’s ok, it’s not ok that I did it because I was afraid. Afraid that having fun would result in fate turning against me. I feared good things because I was afraid of what would happen when they went away.

I do not want my children to be afraid of anything. I don’t want them to be afraid of making mistakes. I don’t want them to just talk about ideas—I want them to do them. I don’t want them to think that because they aren’t a certain size or a certain height or a certain whatever, they can’t do something. Truly inspirational people refuse to be blindsided by the size or strength of obstacles. Going out on a limb, doing something outrageous…. That’s a bucket list for me. I seek those kinds of adventures out. For me, adventure isn’t always daring: sometimes, it’s nothing more than going a full day without running out of ideas to play or do. For me, it’s not about jumping off bungee towers or skydiving–it’s about embracing, every day, even on days it is hard, the small but beautiful things that surround us all. For me, it’s about cultivating in the home a sense of gratefulness and humility and consciously remembering that we are blessed.

I don’t know that I’d submerge waist deep into icy waters on a normal day. I might–I have a history of seeking out creeks and whatnot in the dead of winter–but I’d probably have to be given a reason if I was alone. I can’t think of a better one than my girls and the sweet contestants of the Special Olympics.

Participants are asked to raise $50. Someone graciously has already donated some of that. But I invite you to visit this page, where you can read a about it, check progress and donate a few dollars. We have until Sat to raise it!!

I don’t want to hear about the Polar Plunge Sat afternoon on the radio; I want to experience it!

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