In case you missed it, we did a thing…
The Big Dip 2018 took place last weekend at Mourelatos Beach Resort in North Lake Tahoe, CA! With over 60 Strangers in attendance, the celebration of womanhood and community commenced with a powerful gathering of amazing Reno/Tahoe locals.
At 11 am sharp we huddled around dreamy donuts, amping each other up to brave the 30-degree chill! What began as 5 dozen ladies and gents bundled up in their winter gear, quickly transpired into a gaggle of pant-less strangers partaking in a 15-minute yoga flow. It was as if mother nature had been anticipating our plunge into the freezing water, because the moment we began our sun salutations, she threw a wicked blizzard our way! Each yogi proudly embraced the challenge, upward facing dogging energetically against the hail! And here I thought that hot yoga was the jam… turns out, SNOWGA is where it’s at! Watching my fellow Strangers throw caution to the wind in this way was a truly inspiring moment. It’s wild enough that anyone volunteered themselves to participate in this event, but for everyone to do so with such vigor and excitement really took my breath away. Granted, the frosty air could have played a small role in that, but I choose to believe it was a phenomenon of existential girl-power.
If this thing weren’t already off to a stunningly enthusiastic start, Ali would shortly put the cherry on top of the Stranger cake. Just before our final posture, boss lady owner and designer of the company we had all gathered here for, garnered our attention to make an announcement. This human we all admire, who inspires so much love and support in us all, revealed a secret that had a good majority of us in tears. Ali is pregnant!!! Cue confetti and non-alcoholic champagne! We are about to have a mini-Stranger on our hands! Now we were REALLY jumping into the lake, if not for the prizes, but the solidarity of our girl growing a bun in the oven!
Bolstered by the feeling of empowerment, we closed out our practice and marched gleefully to the beach. Naturally, we lined up before the frigid waves, flexing our muscles to achieve any sort of warming impetus.
I just want to illustrate to you how cold this actually was. We are 60 people, in nothing but Strange Bikinis, staring out over an alpine lake. The fog that resided over it was actually comforting, because it covered up the snow-clad mountains on the other side. The tracks our feet left in the 5 inches of white powder behind us became indicative of our commitment to this plunge; in that, nobody could bear running back through it until the deed was done.
Ali stood behind us and counted it down. 10… 9… 8… we all joined in the choir of numbers, which morphed into squeals as the moment came closer… 3… 2… we clenched hands… 1!
Girly shrieks and icy splashes swarmed the air around us! An entire 15 seconds of shouting, gasping, yells and screeches almost muted the pain of the frigid water. The shock lasted only an instant though, because after dunking my head under, I ran instantly to the shore, where a sea of embraces and towels swarmed me! In the goosebumped arms of my friends I scanned my surroundings and was overcome with a sudden and beautiful sense of belonging. Tens of shivering bodies hugged and high fived and jumped and smiled. The only sounds now were laughter and congratulations.
That’s when I realized what this plunge was all about… The Big Dip was an opportunity to celebrate each other. In that moment, we were all Strangers, yet at the same time, best friends. An impressive expression of gratitude for the small community we’ve built emanated across the beach. We had just discovered our most sacred annual event.
After tons of photo ops with our amazing photographers/videographers, Taylor Kern, Tony Castaneda, Taylor McClellan, Brian Padanos, Chris Stanton and Martin Gollery, the tons of frozen buns gathered at the cabin to enjoy some warm local coffee and fanciful donuts provided by our buds at Coffeebar and Holey Schmidt Donuts. All I can say is that I’ve never felt more deserving of a pastry. Thus began the after-party… the real reason everyone rolled out of bed and drove 45 minutes North to jump into a lake in the middle of winter. With all of our Strangers dry-ish and warm-ish, Ali began the distribution of some amazing raffle prizes. Deso Supply Co. hoodies, Tahoe Timber