I have broken several bones and received lacerations requiring numerous stitches, but there is really nothing like the pain of being submerged in zero degree water in your everyday clothes in the dead of winter. That’s the moment you realize what you are about. The moment you know unequivocally who are. It’s the moment you become aware you’re not a very bright individual.
Within 8 seconds, your breath is taken from you. Literally. Your mouth is thrown open in a desperate attempt to right your body as hyperventilation begins, but I’ve been instructed that this would happen and I will need to get that under control within 1 minute if I’m going to get out of the water. It’s the longest minute you can ever imagine. From minute one on the blood leaves the extremities to concentrate on the core to keep you alive and that’s when the pain begins. Out of every hundred that go in” Peter grimly states, “we bring only one back.”
Yet every year hundreds of snowmobilers, ice fishermen, cross country skiers and just those who just wanna joy ride find their kicks out on the ice. Strange. I lasted 10 min before blowing the whistle. That’s on a harness, 6 men around me just in case and my arms apprehensively perched above the water like the chicken s**t that I am. What happens to those who aren’t on TV? …The most painful thing I’ve experienced.
You know those commercials that legally must state “this is a closed track. Do not attempt…blah blah blah”? This is that same thing. I’ve come back from the “adventure” knowing without a crew around to assist, you would have 1 minute to get control of your breathe, 10 minutes to get back onto the ice and 1 hour before hyperthermia sets in any you die. There is no safe activity on the ice. It can give way at any time. There is no way of knowing it’s true stable thickness and only one out of a hundred live if they go under. Uh, yeah. I think I’ll just break a few more bones and call it a day.