I would also like to thank our families...my parents (Nana & Grandad), Chris' parents (Gammy and Grandpa), all of our siblings: Tim, Pat, Kim (+ Kristine and Jon), Brian, Maureen, Beth (+ Jason), my grandparents (Grammy, Poppy, and Grandma), aunts and uncles, cousins, our forever friends (ALL of you), and all of our new friends who were a part of CAT Crew whether you were actually there or there in spirit (all of you friends and family throughout the country)...
So, we got lined up! I will tell you...I was nervous! I didn't know what it would feel like!And then we plunged!!!!!
Surprisingly, I was able to walk around barefoot because the sand was actually pretty warm!I was getting very emotional as they were counting down the time to get into the water.Not because it was going to be cold, but because of Colin and the fact everyone was doing this for him and for the many other people that are proud participants of the Special Olympics.
The excitement on the beach was just amazing! They didn't let us on the beach until 12:15, so it was a little crazed trying to get 4,500 people into small gates.
Every time someone from CAT Crew went into the tent (where we had our OWN registration table), they made a different announcement.The announcements ranged anywhere from how much we had raised to the fact that we were a first year team and had raised so much!It was a little bit crazy over by the area of the boardwalk where we had to get onto the beach. Unfortunately, spectators and plungers had separate entrances, so we had to part ways with our supporters...including CAT of CAT Crew! So, Chris and I said goodbye to the person who was the reason to why we were doing this.
It was also great to get some yummy food in us before jumping in!
It was much more quiet than I expected down there, so it was nice for us to get a chance to just sit and relax for a few minutes before the craziness ensued.
We feel honored, proud, and loved to have such support on our journey with Colin. We are so touched that all of you have rallied around us from the beginning, got our team up and running, went out and fundraised, and help our team to raise just under $35,000! This is truly what love, family, and friendship is all about...
So, a little bit about the day...Some of us met at the Sawmill in Seaside Heights for their breakfast buffet. All of the costs from the breakfast were donated to the Special Olympics!
We all met near the registration tent so we could set our game plan, get our gear, and then eventually head to the beach.
As each team member started to show up, my feeling of excitement grew and grew!
To see it unfolding before my eyes was so amazing!We all had to put on a wrist band and each one of us got index cards to pick up our gifts based on how much money we had raised.
It all happened so fast that it took a moment for it to register how cold it was. I went under water and when I came up, I was trying to get out as fast as I could...which was very difficult given the fact that people were still trying to get IN the water. If this next picture is any indication...I was RUNNING to get out (and Chris was just, well exhilerated?).
Yes it was cold....but it was the most amazing experience to do something that wasn't comfortable in honor of Colin. It meant more than just jumping in...it signifies what we have overcome to get to this point and all of the things we will face along the way. You just jump in. It might take your breath away, it might shock you, and it might even make you feel a little panicky....but you realize that it's all worth it and feels pretty damn good...