Senior living community residents celebrate outdoor pool opening with polar plunge


HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Residents of Everleigh Short Pump braved the cold Tuesday afternoon to “break in” their new outdoor swimming pool.

“These residents are determined to find the joy in living, even in the midst of this long pandemic,” said Lifestyle Coordinator Abigail Rodriguez.

This the latest addition to the already new senior living community which opened in the late summer of 2020.

Tuesday’s weather turned out to be relatively mild for a mid-February day. But even with snow still on the ground, nothing was going to scare Evelyn Jones away from the polar plunge experience.

“I’m up for anything that’s exciting, fun,” she said. “Whatever, I’ll do it.”

A group of about a dozen residents either jumped or waded into the water.

“When you jump in, you get the cold all at once,” Jones said. “You don’t get it gradually, and it’s so much better.”

Residents Joel Scheff and Eddie Gugelman decided to use the steps to walk into the water. But all three agreed — it was cold.

Everleigh Short Pump residents celebrated the opening of their new swimming pool with a polar plunge. (Photo: Olivia Jaquith)

“Much colder than I anticipated,” Gugelman said. “But it was okay.”

She’s been living at Everleigh Short Pump since November, where she said she loves the lifestyle.

“At this age, if you don’t desire to have fun, what’s the point?” she said. “I love the friends I’ve made, and I just enjoy being here.”

Scheff said he has always wanted to try something different, like horseback riding, skydiving, or a polar plunge.

“As I age, I want to do it before it’s too late and I can’t do it anymore,” he said. “I really had it. It was fun.”

Residents were greeted with towels and hot chocolate as they made their way out of the pool, which, although out-of-season, remains open for use.

Jones said she might even jump back in on Wednesday.

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