Brothers Brian and William Hart have an unusual way of training for the annual Polar Bear plunge at Shepard Park Beach, Lake George, on New Year’s Day. “We train year-round for this event,” said William, 57, who weighs about 300 pounds. “We consume as much alcohol as possible. We eat as much fatty food as possible, and we smoke as many cigars as possible. After all, this is our sport.”
“It’s a fun thing to do because of the camaraderie of all the people," William Hart says. "There’s an excitement to doing it. And it takes the boredom out of the winter.”
Brian Hart, left, and his brother, William Hart of Loudonville, enjoy a brisk swim in Lake George at Shepard Park Beach on Jan. 1 this year. The annual Polar Bear Swim had hundreds of participants taking the plunge into the icy waters.
Surviving another plunge, brothers Brian and William Hart, walk through the chilly waters of Lake George. Both agree that it's not as much of a cold shock as some think.
Trying to keep their cigars dry, Brian Hart of Loudonville and his brother William, right, of Troy, enjoy a brisk swim in Lake George at Shepards Park Beach on Tuesday, January 1, 2008.
"We train year-round for this event. We consume as much alcohol as possible. We eat as much fatty food as possible, and we smoke as many cigars as possible. After all, this is our sport," says William Hart, about preparing with his brother Brian for the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge in Lake George.
William Hart chomps down on his cigar and does a quick muscle flex while taking his Polar plunge.