This New Year I decided it would be a good idea to take a “polar bear swim” in the icy waters of Puget Sound. I regretted this idea three seconds after I started. Nevertheless, it’s a fun tradition (when you get out that is). Here are some tips if you’d like to try it.

1.) Afterwards, take the shower closest to the hot water heater. It’s what my Mom did to me.

2.) You can get an ice cream headache.

3.) Make sure you’re the last person out, especially if there’s photographic evidence. Otherwise your family will tease you and post said evidence on Facebook.

4.) The polar bear swim is actually the polar bear dunk. If you try swimming, your toes will turn purple and drop into the sea.

5.) Be careful of barnacles. Or else you could start the New Year with more blood than you’d like.

And finally, when you sprint up the beach and into the bathroom, you will realize you have found nirvana. And that it’s a bone warming hot shower (see tip one).