Why Would Someone Want To Jump In Cold Water In January? – Cullman Polar Bear Plunge

Cullman Polar Bear Plunge

Cullman Polar Bear Plunge Saturday 11 AM

It is time for the annual Cullman Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, January 2nd at 11:00 am.


What Is A Polar Bear Plunge?

This is where all willing citizens of Cullman gather at the Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center, and then jump in the outdoor pool in the month of January. This Saturday the temperature is expected to be around 45 degrees at plunge time rising from an overnight low of 28 degrees.

Water temperature is expected to be a comparatively warm 65 degrees.


Cullman Polar Bear Plunge

Why Would Someone Want To Jump In Cold Water In January?

Several reasons:

1. To prove to their friends and family that they really are bad asses.

2. To prove to themselves they can push beyond common limits of physical and mental endurance.

3. And in this case, try to win a one-year free membership to Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center.


Waid Harbison, Marketing, Programs, and Events Director of Cullman City Parks & Recreation explains it this way:

Cullman Polar Bear Plunge

Waid Harbison

 “We’ve held this event annually since the center was opened. It gives participants a chance to win a free one-year membership for themselves or their family.

All they have to do is brave the cold waters of the outdoor pool in the crisp January air. In the past, poolside temperatures have ranged from 27 degrees all the way to 50 degrees. This year’s class of polar bear plungers will have an easy swim though. We will have some of the warmest water at any plunge ever due to the unseasonably mild weather this winter.

There is NO cost to enter the plunge. And ALL ages are encouraged to jump in and get their full body (head included) submersed underwater. If they do that, then the participant is entered in a drawing for the free year’s membership. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you think about it, and loads of fun.”


Spectators are welcome to attend this remarkable event as well … the Polar Bear Plunge is perhaps the most extreme sporting event held annually in the City of Cullman.

For spectators, their will be more than just a Polar Bear Plunge by the way. Going on at the same time will be the Aquatics Center’s biggest event of the year: the Community Wellness Day


Cullman Polar Bear Plunge

Event Details

Date: Saturday, January 2 2016

Time: Starts at 11 am and runs until every human polar bear has plunged.

Location: Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center, 1636 Field Of Miracles Drive SW, Cullman, AL 35055

Cost: FREE

Requirements: Just show up a little early and sign a waiver

Ages: All ages welcome to participate.



The Long History of Polar Club Activities

Cullman Polar Bear Plunge

Bernarr Macfadden

The Coney Island Polar Bear Club was founded by Bernarr Macfadden in 1903. While virtually unknown today, Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955) was called the “Father of Physical Culture.” An early advocate of physical fitness, natural foods and physical exercise, he believed that “our bodies are our most glorious possessions, that health-wealth is our greatest asset . . . that weakness is truly a crime . . . that every man can be a vigorous vital specimen of masculinity: that every woman can be a splendidly strong, well poised specimen of femininity.”

Although many considered him a “kook and a charlatan,” few people of his generation did as much to advance the cause of physical fitness, healthy eating habits and the natural treatment of disease. He authored over 100 books on his theories of health, sexuality and fitness becoming a millionaire publisher along the way. Among his powerful and influential friends were FDR, Will Rogers, Shirley Temple, Clark Gable and Rudolph Valentino.

It was his belief that a dip in the ocean during the winter can be a boon to one’s stamina, virility and immunity. Among early Polar Bear members could be counted NYC Deputy Police Commissioner George S. Dougherty and Supreme Court Justice Crater, long famed for his disappearance.

It is from this initial starting point that mid-winter swims have achieved worldwide notoriety and form the inspirational basis for the Cullman Polar Bear Plunge.


Cullman City Parks and Recreation

Cullman Polar Bear Plunge Saturday 11 am

Staff Writers

The staff writers at Cullman Today are a collaborative group of citizen reporters sharing the writing of stories based upon their personal interests and work schedules.

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