They’re about to freeze their buns off for a good cause.
The Numb Bums, a group of North Shore residents who go to the waters off Dundarave Beach for weekly “cold plunges,” is inviting the wider community to come join them for a chilly dip on Saturday.
“I can promise you, there’s going to be spirit,” said Nicole McLeod, Numb Bums member and organizer of the Plunge for Purpose.
Beyond the extremely cold tushes though, the Numb Bums have a goal of raising some extremely cold cash for the Harvest Project, the North Shore non-profit that has been offering a “hand up” for the last 30 years.
More than assistance with food and rent, the Harvest Project uses a client care model that looks at people in need of help holistically and aims to address areas of concern across their lives with monthly check-ins and support.
“There’s a connection that’s made there,” McLeod said. “Their offerings seem like a mile deep versus just a mile wide.”
McLeod said they chose the Harvest Project, in part, because of the stories her husband, who is a Lions Gate Hospital doctor, brings home about patients suffering ill health, exacerbated by poverty.
“Really good people in our community who are jobless, they’re about to be evicted or they don’t even have food,” she said. “This is all day long. And so I couldn’t un-hear that.”
With Christmas coming, the Numb Bums wanted to leverage a few moments of discomfort in the water to help their neighbours across the North Shore, McLeod said.
As of Monday, the Plunge for Purpose campaign had raised $11,500 toward their target of $20,000.
McLeod said they are hoping to draw a big crowd including those with a desire to join them in the inlet as well as those who just want to support from the beach.
While there’s no question that jumping in Burrard Inlet, which has an average temperature of about 6 C at this time of year, is a shock to the system, McLeod noted there is a growing body of evidence that cold plunges provide both physical and mental health benefits.
Her group’s members report better circulation, hormone regulation, boosted metabolism, clearer skin and better moods.
McLeod, a registered clinical counsellor, said she routinely advises her clients to try it out for themselves. Those with the courage to follow through reap the rewards, she added.
“When you do something really, really hard and really scary and it’s uncomfortable as well, you just instantly grow,” she said. “It’s like a long slow release of dopamine. Everybody says they constantly feel better and better as the day unfolds.”
The Plunge for Purpose takes place at Dundarave Beach on Saturday at 11 a.m. Plunging with a group is always easier than plunging alone, McLeod said.
To donate to the campaign, search “Plunge for Purpose” at fundrazr.com.
“Every little bit counts,” she said. “There’s a ripple effect.”