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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Monday, February 18th, 2008 10:20 am
my brother

Ten years ago Jesus and I jumped naked into a freezing lake.

I was living in Reno at the time, and some friends and I were lured by uncharacteristically sunny President's Day weather up to Tahoe for a day hike. My friend Christian (given name Jesus, no kidding), an avid outdoorsman, found a trail for the four of us to follow to a lightly-forested clearing a stone's throw away from an outcropping of large, white boulders at the water's edge.

It wasn't overly-strenuous, but Christian's girlfriend and our mutual friend who had joined us were a little winded by the steep hike down from the car, so he and I continued alone over to the rocks, and jumped around for a bit before sitting down to soak up the sun. We were perspiring; it must have been in the high 60s or even 70s, comparatively tropical considering the damp grayness characteristic of the season. The sky was an unbroken dome of light blue, and the boulders were brilliant against the dark green-blue of the lake. In between, the horizon was evergreens, rocks, and snow.

"God," I said, "I could almost go for a swim out there."

After a minute, Christian said "Let's do it."

I looked at him, squinting. "No trunks, no towels."

"Come on," he said. "Man and nature in the purest sense. We'll remember it for the rest of our lives."

So we stood up and found a suitable jumping point about five feet above the water. We looked at each other for a second, then stripped down to nothing, stood there waiting to see if we were both up for the challenge, decided we were, counted to three, and jumped.

When I hit the water, it was as if someone gave me a mighty whack on the back with the flat of an oar, knocking the wind completely out of me. After a panicked second or two, my head broke the surface and I gasped for breath, then started whooping, I don't know why, out of fear, out of exhilaration. My two thoughts were "OH MY GOD I DID IT!" and "I WILL PROBABLY DIE TODAY."

I looked around to find Christian in similar circumstances, but with a huge grin on his face. Holy crap, I thought, as I noticed that I couldn't actually feel my limbs, that was really, really dumb. I yelped out "Hey! You! OK!" to Christian, and he gave me a thumbs-up and then pointed to the rocks. I looked down in the water to make sure my legs and arms were actually moving, then started a frozen dog-paddle to the nearest boulder.

Somehow, we clambered up, hooting and swearing the entire time. We jumped around for a minute to make sure our blood was circulating, and then we sat down on a flat rock to let the sun dry us off. We waved at a few folks who passed by in motorboats, laughing and shivering, skin numb, genitals shriveled, adrenaline rushing.

Our whooping drew the attention of the other two in our group, who struggled over to the rocks to find us, still dripping, pulling our clothes back on and laughing to ourselves with bravado, accomplishment, or sheer relief. He and I were ecstatic for the rest of the day. We talk about this day just about every time we hang out, which is far too seldom.

Tags: ,

11CommentReplyShare

sistermaryeris
sistermaryeris
Bake, Love, Kickbox.
Monday, February 18th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)

That's a very cool story. :)


(were you drunk?)

hee.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Monday, February 18th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)

Not until later!


ReplyThread Parent
abrichar
abrichar
Amanda
Monday, February 18th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)

Thanks for sharing this... so sweet.


ReplyThread
dryad271
dryad271
nitemare hippie girl
Monday, February 18th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)

I think jumping into a lake naked with Jesus has to count as some sort of baptism.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Monday, February 18th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)

I think it did, definitely.


ReplyThread Parent
wuweibaby
wuweibaby
touching now
Monday, February 18th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)

when i was in my early 20's some friends and i pulled off our clothes and jumped into the washougal river.
it was a nice perhaps april day, maybe 70F

the water was frigid, and it hurt so bad i didn't think i was going to make it back to the bank.
scared the hell outta me. :D

i'll never forget that day.
it's a shame i am out of touch with every one of those friends.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Monday, February 18th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)

Find them on FB. ;)


ReplyThread Parent
schmimi
schmimi
schmimi
Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)

I grew up at Tahoe, and by your description, I'm guessing you were somewhere on the east shore. There is nothing like jumping in Tahoe's east shore in the spring... especially if it doesn't kill you. ;) Seriously, it's the most invirgorating thing I think I've ever done... and I've only missed two years out of the last 30 or so.


ReplyThread Parent
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)

Invigorating is definitely the word.

Good to see you posting again!


ReplyThread Parent
magn0lia
magn0lia
Magn0lia
Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)

mmmm, that sounds incredible. I've been to Tahoe many times but never took the plunge!


ReplyThread
lovemotionstory
lovemotionstory
lovemotionstory
Monday, March 3rd, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)

sigh.


ReplyThread