They say to play rugby, you have to be tough as nails. Well, that's only half-true, but to jump into the ocean in the midst of winter is a whole other mindset.

On January 1, 2021, some of the fellas on the Providence Rugby Football Club, including myself, met up in the public parking lot of Horseneck Beach in Westport. Normally, this is a tradition that I carry out annually, but never at the beach.

The Back Eddy Restaurant is the usual jumping location for the Polar Plunge, but unfortunately, they were closed earlier than normal this year. That's when improvisation was needed and I ended up running into the frigid waters rather than jumping off of a dock – which is much easier than slowly running into the water.

As we made our way to the shoreline – socially distanced, of course – the ocean was rough and the waves were crashing upon the sandy shores of the beach. Although the air was mild and somewhat warm (temps were in the upper 50s), that's never a good sign. Usually, if the air is warm, the water feels that much colder.

There was no turning back.

All of us lined up along the sandy banks of the shoreline and after a mighty call to battle, we charged into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean and conquered the almighty Polar Plunge. As a matter of fact, we ended up running in for a second go, which is never the wisest decision, but cockiness took over as we were once again engulfed by the bitter cold of the ocean's low temperatures.

If you have yet to see our courageous acts of polar plunging, then check it out for yourself and enjoy our "summer uniforms," a.k.a. "rugby Speedos."

Godspeed and Happy New Year to all.

If Westport Were a Candle, It Would Smell Like...

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