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"Bud Light Presents... Real Men of Genius: Today we salute you, Mr. Mirror Lake Jumper-Inner. Ignoring the obvious dangers of hypothermia, you trudge onward and plunge into a 27 degree body of water in the middle of November. Armed only with an abundance of buckeyes around your neck, you are living proof that nothing is unbearable as long as you have a big set of nuts. Splashing around tirelessly, you disregard frigid temperatures and try to warm yourself by incessantly chanting O-H and I-O. Why do you do it they ask? Because no matter how cold it is youre not afraid to show a little school spirit and a pure hatred for those bastards from Michigan. So crack open an ice cold Bud Light oh Legend of the Lake, because when it comes to the Buckeyes, youre simply NUTS."

So yes, I did indeed jump in Mirror Lake this year with Val.  And holy shit, was it cold.  No surprise as it was snowing!  I was unaware that when you jump into a large body of obscenely cold water you involuntarily scream.  We stripped down, had Thom take our picture and then took the plunge in a flying leap!  and came up screaming and jumping up and down ready for yet another photo op.  Then we were off, bouncing and wading through the frigid water across the lake, moving from our jump point by the cypress tree, to the churning fountain on the other side.  All along the way we were buffeted by other rambunciously celebrating and crazed Buckeyes, giving out hi-5s and screaming our chants of O-H! and I-O! and Fuck Michigan!  Water was flying everywhere, being splashed all about. 

We finally reached the other side and, shaking, climbed out of the water.  We started to make our way around the lake, Val leading me along because I'd taken my glasses off for this adventure.  So we made our way past the news cameras, past the mounties and bicycle cops, but all the while through a screaming, gyrating, and undulating crowd of drunken revelers.  We got pushed back towards the lake and I yelled to Val, "Jump back, just jump back in!  We're going to get pushed in if we don't!"  And it was true.  The mob was moving towards us, climbing over benches and any person who got in there way and wouldn't get in the lake was a damned M*ch*g*n fan and was shoved in without mercy.  So we leaped in again.  Trying to wade even faster this time, we didn't slow for the rejoicing and communion with our fellows, we just made a beeline back towards the cypress and Thom, who, like the wonderful gods-be-blessed boy that he is, was waiting with towels and dry clothes. 

We climbed out again, this time legs even more frozen and making it more difficult to pull ourselves from the icy water.  We grabbed our towels and tried to dry off as well as we could while moving towards a less crowded area.  I pulled on my hoody and my cloak.  Val had on her coat, and towel around her waist, and we were off, knowing that now we needed to get back to the dorm, where it was warm.  Our toes were white and alternating between no feeling at all and intense pain as we put weight on them.  As we reached the covered tunnel by the library we started to lightly jog.  Just need the limbs moving; try to keep the blood flow going.  Finally back to the dorm, strip down, and into to cold shower to begin the process of getting feeling to return to our extremities.  As our capillary refill time got a little quicker, we warmed up the water a little more.  Still would have been cold to anyone who had not just gotten out of a freezing lake and run, wet and half-dressed, across campus in 35 degree weather.  Finally we had enough feeling back that we could wash the stench of duck shit from our bodies. 

And then, out of the shower and into some warm clothes and blankets.  I slept deeply last night.  Lots of dreams, but all in the deep sleep that one can't be woken from.  My voice is partially gone this morning, raspy-like.  I've made tea, and taken a vitamen at Thom's request, and now I am writing this to remember the experience.  We were crazy.  And so was everyone else there.  I think that's all that can be said.  There were some other interesting sights to be seen.  The was a pirate in a little boat he had made.  And someone brought and OSU flag and it was passed around among the Lake Revelers.  There was a girl in a full body wet suit, who climbed back out of the lake faster than everyone else.  The was a guy in a scarlet and gray half body wet suit with and OSU flag for a cape, and a scuba mask.  People were doing cannonballs, flips, dives, and just flat out falling into the lake.  Refrains of  "We don't give a damn for the whole state of M*ch*g*an!" echoed all around Mirror Lake, punctuated by the continuous chanting, like by some fervant, fanactical religious cult: "O-H! I-O! O-H! I-O! O-H! I-O!" 

So yes, I have taken the plunge.  I have leaped into Mirror Lake.  I have waded through the freezing muck and water.  I have chanted with the screaming crowd.  I am a baptized Buckeye.  I have had this experience.  I do not regret it, but now I do not need to do it again. 

Go Bucks!


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July 2011

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