Just what is it that compels perfectly normal people to jump into frigid, freezing water in the middle of winter?

For some, it is part of tradition.  Especialy in Europe, many of the polar plunges are carried on for decades, even centuries, and are cultural events.   Many of them are outgrowths of ancient beliefs that jumping into frigid water would "cleanse" the body of impurities, some are offshoots of ancient religious ceremonies. In Holland, over 6,500 people annually jump into the North Sea on New Years Day.  

  Here in the states,  most of the plunges are tied to some sort of charitable event, such as the Special Olympics.   Newstalk 870 is part of the Mid Columbia Polar Plunge January 21st.  We're crazy enough to jump into the Columbia off the Blue Bridge Boat Launch to raise money for the kids.    We're hoping it's not too cold.   Incidentally, one of the coldest polar plunges over the last few years took place in Chesapeake Bay Virginia, where hearty (crazy!) people jumped into 30 degree water with the air temperature at 20 degrees-including wind chill-to raise funds for charity.  When you go to the Polar Plunge page, just search for Cool Conservatives or Newstalk 870, and join our team!   We'll be freezin' for a reason January 21st.