Monday, November 17, 2008

Mirror Lake Jump-In.

If you don't know it, Ohio State Buckeyes are crazy. I can't give the explanation for it, but we're renowned as the rowdiest sports fans and nothing exemplifies this more than the OSU versus Michigan game. Couches are set on fire, bars are jam-packed with drunkies and tail-gaters line the stadium for what seems like miles.

However, a tradition sprung up many years ago, and that was Mirror Lake Jump-In. On the Thursday before the game, in the middle of 20 degree weather, die-hard Buckeyes strip off their clothes and dive into our calm and tranquil Mirror Lake in an attempt to send good fortune towards our OSU Buckeyes.

So we jump, get frozen and make a fool of ourselves. But boy is it fun. I just have some tips that I'd like to share. They're from the OSU Student Wellness Center and I'm glad I reviewed them before taking the plunge on Thursday.

Alcohol significantly affects judgment and reaction. Not all students choose to drink before the event, and that is a decision that should be respected. The more you have to drink, the greater the chances that you will:

  • Injure yourself (last year about 25 students were treated at the emergency department for cuts, sprains and other injuries)
  • Magnify the shock effect of cold water (alcohol is not antifreeze, it actually increases the shock to your body).
  • Lose valuables, such as cell phones and room keys ($100 cost to replace your residence hall room key).
  • Become a victim of sexual violence

Mirror Lake is cold and dirty and the depth varies greatly from one end to the other:

  • Never enter head-first
  • Never push others into the lake
  • Wear shoes
  • Get out quickly and dry off-your body will quickly lose temperature and you could develop hypothermia (signs are shivering, slurred speech, fatigue, cold pale skin, abnormally slow breathing)
  • Cuts are likely to become infected from the bacteria in the water

Other tips

  • Use the buddy system to make sure everyone gets home safely
  • Ask a "designated dry person" to hold your valuables if you plan to go in the water
  • Obey police orders
  • Be careful walking or driving
  • Seek medical care if you are hurt or show signs of hyperthermia
And now that the safety issues have been taken care of, here's a video of the tradition. Enjoy. (And be grateful you're not as crazy as we are).