After nearly two minutes in the frigid waters of Wood Lake at Oyama, Lake Country resident Carrie Gilmour exits, having been one of nine members of the newly formed Lake Country BC - Lake Plunge! to participate in the group’s inaugural dip Sunday, Nov. 8. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

After nearly two minutes in the frigid waters of Wood Lake at Oyama, Lake Country resident Carrie Gilmour exits, having been one of nine members of the newly formed Lake Country BC - Lake Plunge! to participate in the group’s inaugural dip Sunday, Nov. 8. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

Okanagan lake swim group plunges ahead

Nine brave souls meet for first Wood Lake dip of Lake Country BC - Lake Plunge! group

Nothing but sunshine and blues skies on a Sunday morning.

Perfect for a dip in the lake, right?

Absolutely said nine brave souls, members of the newly formed Lake Country BC – Lake Plunge! Facebook group, organized by Lake Country massage therapist Michele Rauter, delighted with the original turnout at Wood Lake in Oyama Nov. 8.

“I thought we’d have about three people,” laughed Rauter who started the group for people interested in health and wellness, as well as trying unique, different experiences. “It’s absolutely great for health. It shocks all the systems, circulatory, lymphatic, everything is shocked, then revamped and reenergized.

“The benefits are endless.”

Once the group gathered and introduced themselves to one another, Kelowna yoga instructor Olivia Lavroff led people through nearly 10 minutes of breathing exercises and warm-up to generate some heat for the bodies.

Then, it was into the chilly waters of Wood Lake. While no lake temperature was recorded, the unofficial Black Press Hyundai Accent thermometer read +3C just after 10 a.m., minutes before the plunge.

Lake Country residents Megan Gerace and Carrie Gilmour each lasted two minutes, hiking out in the water nearly even with an anchored dock (nobody went up on the dock and jumped in).

Gerace had spent a few days mentally preparing herself for this challenge.

“It was amazing, very refreshing,” she said. “I knew it was coming, the challenge, and I was up for it.”

Gilmour said the breathing exercises ignited a fire within her.

“There was some initial shock going in the water, but it wasn’t as cold as I first thought it would be,” she said. “You could slowly feel the coldness coming over your body, the prickliness, then the body goes numb and there’s just a calmness about it.”

Rauter, Lake Country’s Shane Bates, and an unidentified man were the last three out of the water, each lasting close to four minutes in the bone-chilling cold water.

“The first 20 seconds are the toughest,” said Bates. “The first step was cold. After that, your body doesn’t talk to you. It’s just different. I’m up for trying things once and seeing how things go.”

Rauter hopes to make the plunge group a regular outing, complete one day with a heat source.

More information on the group can be found on its Facebook page, Lake Country BC – Lake Plunge!

READ MORE: New public park proposed along Wood Lake in Lake Country



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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