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A Barbaric Yawp

December 20, 2013

One quiet moment stands out to me amidst the incredible performances, the community service, the Carol Shout, and the joy students shared with each other this week.

Near the end of the Polar Bear jump on Wednesday’s 28º morning, I heard Noah Rickolt ’14 quietly admit that this was one of the few times he didn’t want to jump. It was a surprising admission from the four-year member who serves as one of the club’s Papa Bears. Noah was the first one to the pond that morning and spent about 10 minutes clearing the ice chunks from around the dock. He knew exactly how cold the water was and, at this moment, wanted little part of it.

And then he did this:

Screen shot 2014-01-08 at 9.52.03 AM

He cannonballed away from the dock to the horror of those watching. We collectively gasped and my four-year old was at a loss for words for the first time in his life.

The barbaric yawp! required him to be in the water much longer than necessary, but my guess is that Noah wanted to send a clear message to his frontal lobe. How dare it try to scare him from doing something that makes him feel so alive? It was a moment of inspiration that I won’t soon forget.

Here’s to feeling alive this holiday season.

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