About Rob

Rob After 2010 New Year's Day Plunge
This is Rob, at home, after his 2010 New Year's Day Plunge with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, to raise funds for Camp Sunshine


Rob is 40-something. He lives with his wonderful teenage son, wife, mother-in-law (whom he considers a mother to him), and furry family members (4 kitties (or as Rob would say, "Fur Balls," and 2 guinea pigs (aka, "squeakers" or "little fur balls" or "little furry eating/pooping machines"). Rob is dedicated to his son and family, and his favorite past-time is spent doing "whatever" with them..

He does customer service and inter-office relations for the company he has worked for the past decade. He's a hard and dedicated woker, who cares about doing what's right. That's how Rob is.

Rob does a lot to help others. He's the type that will go out of his way for a friend, or a person in need. He doesn't complain.

While Rob has always had a particular love of bears, and had long wanted to try the New Year's Day plunge so often publicized, he did not begin to Polar Bear until 2006. He began swimming with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. You can learn about his swims, and track him, at Rob's Log.

He enjoys the feeling Polar Bear swimming offers, and the wonderful people around him who participate. However, he is strongly motivated by participating in the Charity swims. Just part of who he is. He has a big heart, and helps where he can.

Please consider donating to one of the worthy causes for which Rob takes the Polar Bear Plunge. Thank you.

Polar Bear Plunging

Now for those tips. Here's some tips Rob would like to share with you, that he learned when he first started out Polar Bearing, and that he has picked up along the way. He'd like to thank the Coney Island Polar Bear Club for all their encouragement, help, and shared wisdom.

1.) Check with your doctor. Get a full phiysical. While many experience wonderful health benefits from the experience, the first rule it to be sure this is right for you.

2.) Listen to your body and don't overdue. People have different tolerance levels. Don't try to compete with other cold warter simmers. That's one of the wonderful things about this activity. It is a non-competitive one! It's one filled with encouragment, and fun.

3.) Don't stay in your wet clothes. While you may see some Polar Bears stay in their swim suits for a bit, they are seasoned Polar Bears! They've learned how to recognize their bodies signals when Polar Bearing. Some enjoy standingn in a sunny spot, afterwards. But, cubs, do not do this! Get changed immediately after your plunge. This is very important. Cold AIR and a wet bathing suit do not mix. It may sound strange, but it's true. You may feel warm coming out of the water. But, don't let that fool you into staying in your suit.

4.) Two minutes, and a complete dunk above the chest. To get the full Polar Bear experience, and get those endorphines going, you should completely dunk up to your neck (at least above the chest). Move around, don't stay still. If you can stay in for 2 full minutes. It's the people who run in and right out who are the coldest. Some research has shown that it takes two minutes for your body to acclimate.

5.) Check yourself for signs, and listen to others. If folks are telling you are starting to not look right, listen to them. You may not feel it. Check yourself for signs. Touch finger to finger. Can you make a fist. There are others. Buttom line is to not overdue.

6.) First timers: do not stay in long. Do a two minute plunge, and get out. Some may stay in longer. Air temperature, and weather conditions DO play a role. Start off with experienced polar bear swimmers. Learn from them.

7.) Wear protective foot wear! Your feet will be cold. You don't want to get a cut or injure yourself if you are dipping at a lake or beach.

8.) Consider thermal protective water gloves, and footwear. Some people don't use these. Others do. These extremities are the most vulnerable. Consider these if you are at risk for frostbite. Even experienced Polar Bears use them.

9.) Be hydrated and fed before you go in. (Don't overhydrate yourself till you have a full bladder, or go in right after eating a meal.). People tend to go to the bathroom before going for a swim. Believe it or not, save that till afterwards (but, don't have a full bladder!). The fluid in your body will help keep your body warmer for the dip. You'll see what we mean when you come out of that water and then urinate.

10.) NEVER SWIM UNDER ICE! Polar Bear swimmers do NOT swim under ice! They do NOT take risky chances! In fact, Polar Bear swimmers respect the water, the environment, and their own bodies! Swimming under ice is EXTREMELY dangerous! NEVER - EVER - do this! (Stay AWAY from waters covered in ice! While we have seen some sites tell people how to swim in ice topped water, do not do this. Nevertheless, even those sites tell people NOT to swim UNDER the ice.).

11.) Do not swim alone. Be sure someone is there with you.

12.) Swim in calm areas. Do not just go down to your local beach and go swimming, unless there are lifeguards on duty, or you are swimming with an experienced group. Listen for weather reports and water conditions. Some ocean waters are calmer then others. Rob was a life guard when he was younger. He will not go into the local waters, near his home, if a storm is coming, the waves are high, or conditions are not safe. Don't take risks. There are no "necessary" risks when it comes to Polar Bearing. It's fun, and healthy, but remember - even thought Rob says he is related to Polar Bears, even HE won't do these things (after all, he's only part Polar Bear).

13.) Bring a Towel or Robe. Rob has seen people who attend plunge events for the first time, show up without towels, robes, warn clothing to change into, etc. Be sure to bring with you a robe or a good strong towel to wrap around yourself when you come out of the water, and change of clothing (do NOT wait until you get home!)

14.) Do NOT go home and take a "hot" bath or shower afterwards! Drink some warm cocoa, or tea. Wrap yourself up in a warm cuddly blanket. But, never take a "HOT" bath! Some websites say to do this. Remember what your mother taught you when you came out of the snow and wanted to go and put your hands under hot water? NO! If you must, tepid water only. In cases of frostbite or hyperthermia, seek medical help immediately!

*Note: NONE of the above is medical advice! They are tips that Rob has found helpful in his Polar Bear experiences. Each person is different. Check with your health care practitioner.

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