We are always told never to actually write your speech out in paragraph form, but to type it up in an outline instead. Well being that I suck at storytelling, I decided to ignore that rule and write it anyway. I have the actual speech this Thursday (wish me luck), so I have to start practicing with my notecard and not reading what I have written. I guess we will see how I do and if writing it out completely really is a mistake. I hope not!
I wanted to post my speech (more like essay since it's written out) on here for you to see and read if you'd like. I was excited with the final product and hope I can find a scholarship that I can use it for (that would be awesome!).
Some of it had to be tweaked and some of it isn't totally true, but it worked for the speech aspect and made it a bit more exciting! Also, the paragraphs would have to be fixed as well (some are like two sentences and some are like ten). It is written in chucks for my speech (intro: gain attention, relate to class, body, conclusion, etc.).
By a show of hands, who’s gone swimming in the ocean in February? Well I can’t say I’ve gone swimming, but I can say I’ve taken a dive straight into a crashing, 42 degree, Atlantic wave.
The point of this story is to offer an alternative to the time sucking, labor-intensive, or boring view giving to the community has received. Giving to the community or to charity can actually be adrenaline pumping and very exciting.
And looking for ways to beef up my resume with community service was a must when looking for colleges. Even now we should probably do the same in preparation for getting out in the competitive job market. When looking for potential employees, community service looks good.
So why did I dive into the ocean on a 35 degree day? For the Special Olympics, an organization created so that people with disabilities and special needs can participate in sports. A few of my friends and I got some sponsors and together raised over $600 for the Special Olympics.
This fundraising event is called the Polar Plunge and takes place in Virginia Beach every year in early February. Now just because it’s the beach doesn’t mean it’s warm, as I said it was 35 degrees that day. Natasha, Jessyca, Courtney, Kaitlynn, Sea, and I all decided that amid the snow, we were going to take the plunge...... in our bathing suits.
That year there were over 1000 of us crazy, but giving, people that were waiting anxiously to jump into the Atlantic. The local news stations were there reporting on the snow-covered-sand, all bundled up watching us.
Now Sea, who I mentioned earlier, is the runner of the group. She played soccer for years and could outrun any of us in an instant. Jessyca was my best friend, and Kaitlynn was that girl we all know. The one whose parents guard her with their life and dictate every move she makes at 15 years old.
The night before, we all decided to sleep over at my house since I am only about 15 minutes from the beach. We were planning our outfits when suddenly Kaitlynn got a call from her mom. “Kaitlynn,” she said, “you’re not going tomorrow. The weather is calling for snow and I don’t want you getting sick.” Kaitlynn tried to convince her mom otherwise, but it didn’t end up working out in her favor. The next morning everyone else got suited up, jumped in my mom’s SUV, and the butterflies began. We hadn’t seen snow yet, but knew what Kaitlynn’s mom had said.
After about an hour of anticipation and waiting inside the hotel headquarters on the oceanfront, the time had come. We stripped from our sweatpants and hoodies down to our bathing suits and uggs and had my mom follow us outside to snap a few photos of “before.” Practically right as we walked outside, it began to snow. We all looked at each other with wide eyes and nervous expressions, but kept on walking out the door.
Shivering, my mom took our picture and we joined the other 1000 people in the sand….. barefoot. The director gave us our rules: don’t stay in too long, don’t trample anyone, the obvious stuff, but no one was really listening. I mean who could? Our hearts were pounding, our teeth were chattering, and our bodies were shaking. We all locked hands and as the whistle blew, we ran.
We ran barefoot in the snow-covered-sand until we reached the shoreline. Screaming, we all dove into the shallow, but freezing, water. As I hit the water I could feel my blood and my adrenaline pumping, and I ran out of that water immediately.
I lost my friends in the chaos, but knew that Sea would be somewhere in front of me since I run at about a quarter of a mile per hour. I passed my mom waiting on the boardwalk and kept running on my frozen feet until I reached a door. I saw Sea there too, but they weren’t letting anyone back into the hotel yet. At that point we looked at each other and ran to another door, pushing our way inside. We weren’t being separated from our towels any longer.
Finally everyone got back inside and we all sat shivering in the hallway of the hotel with blankets and towels surrounding us. We compared colors of feet. Mine were blue at the toes and I later found out that I had broken a toe somewhere on my journey. My mom took some pictures of us sitting in the hallway bundled up. We looked hilarious. In our “before” pictures we looked so exited and happy, yet in our “after” pictures, we looked pissed and on the verge of tears due to our freezing body temperature.
After we warmed up, we all drove back to my house for some hot chocolate and sitting by the fireplace. We all shared our stories of what had happened after our hands released from each others and laughed.
Beyond the frozen sea, the memories, and the laughter, we knew we had made an impact. With our contribution the Special Olympics can continue, and we found out just how fun helping the community really can be.