Braun Strowman prepares for Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Boys & Girls Club
Braun Strowman will be on Raw next Monday, under the same roof as Universal Champion Brock Lesnar … but first, he’s going to jump in a frozen lake.
The Monster Among Men will take part in a Polar Bear Plunge tomorrow to help raise money for a local Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Wis., where his family calls home. The Gift of Destruction has yet to reveal the specific time he’ll be doing the plunge — keep your eyes on his Twitter account for confirmation — but he took a few minutes to talk to WWE.com about his latest feat, what motivated him to do it, and whether an F-5 from Lesnar matches up to a swim in a 20-degree lake.
WWE.COM: So, for those out there who are unfamiliar with the concept of a Polar Bear Plunge, what is it exactly that you’re about to do?
BRAUN STROWMAN: So, basically, I don’t know why I got this wild hair, but a Polar Bear Plunge is where you go out on a frozen lake, you cut a hole in it, and you jump in. Something I guess most sane people wouldn’t do, but let’s be honest, I’m not the most sane person. I figured I’m going to be in Wisconsin and this is going to be my last weekend off before I come back full-steam in WWE; I’m coming up here to enjoy some time with my family and I figured why not help the local Boys & Girls Club while I’m up here. I’m very adamant about the youth and leading by example and helping pave a brighter path for them to pass it on. I feel like if I go out of my way to do something nice for them, one day they might do it for somebody else; it’s the trickle-down effect.
The community up here is really family-oriented ... it's a little more old school, per se. It’s an opportunity for me to give back to the people.
I decided to start a GoFundMe for the local Boys & Girls Club here in Washington County in Hartford, Wis., where most of my family’ from. There’s two towns up here, Hartford and Slinger. My dad’s side of the family is from Slinger, my mom’s side of the family is from Hartford, and my sister and I are the only two in my family born out of the state of Wisconsin. [But] Wisconsin’s still my second home, so I get a chance to give back to a community that’s been so great to my family over the years, with my aunt being the high school gymnastics coach at Hartford. And why not, you know? We’re moving in on $1400 in 12 hours on the GoFundMe, so it’s taken off great. It’s for an unbelievable cause; we’re going to get new equipment for the kids here to play with and learn and have tools and everything to be successful in life. Whatever you can do to help out and donate, anything helps. No amount is too small. The sky’s the limit on how much we can donate, so let’s see how much we can raise with these kids.
WWE.COM: Are you planning on doing it by yourself or as part of a group? Some Polar Bear Plunges are big group events.
STROWMAN: I had originally planned to do it by myself, but it looks like it might turn into a little bit of an event. I know the local news here in Milwaukee has reached out and they want to come up and cover it, and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback via social media from people in the area that are basically champing at the bit for me to tell them exactly what time I’m going to do it, because a lot of people want to come do it with me.
I’ve been in the ring with Brock Lesnar, so I know what to expect. Jumping into a frozen lake? I do not know what to expect.
WWE.COM: How did you land on a Polar Bear Plunge as a fundraiser? Were there other ideas that crossed your mind?
STROWMAN: You know, it was just a random thing. I thought of it yesterday. It just popped in my mind; I’ve seen them, but I’ve never done one before. I’ve had friends do them over the years for charity and it seems to really bring a community together and people get behind it. I figured, why not, let’s do it. You only live once.
WWE.COM: Did you have any prior experience with the Hartford Boys & Girls Club before this?
STROWMAN: I had one time before being up here last year. A fan had reached out to me via social media and I happened to see it. It’s really hard to keep up with everything on that because it’s so much all the time, but it caught my eye. A father had reached out to me and said his kids went to the Boys & Girls Club here in Hartford and they were huge fans. [He asked] if there was any way I could just stop in and say hi to the kids. So I showed up over there by surprise. All the kids went nuts seeing me come in there. I sat down and talked with them for 35-40 minutes, answered questions, took a bunch of pictures, signed autographs. It came off really well. The community up here is really family-oriented. Everyone’s really nice. This is a place I go to get away from the craziness, because it’s still a little more old-school up here, per se. It’s an opportunity for me to give back to the people.
WWE.COM: A lot of people who do Polar Bear Plunges like to be festive and go in outfits. Is that something you’re thinking of doing?
STROWMAN: I’ve been dabbling over if I want to dress up crazy or just get it over with, because it’s 28 degrees out and it’s really sunny. I can only imagine if it’s overcast and a little bit of a breeze or something, the temperature’s going to plummet very rapidly. I live in Florida, and I’ve been living in Florida for the past five years, so my blood has gotten a little thin. I don’t tolerate cold as well, but luckily, being The Monster Among Men and a meat castle that I am, I have some bodyweight that’s gonna help.
WWE.COM: Obviously, being in the ring is very physically taxing. Is there trepidation of a different kind when it comes to jumping in a frozen lake?
Whatever you can do to help out and donate, anything helps. No amount is too small. The sky’s the limit on how much we can donate, so let’s see how much we can raise with these kids.
STROWMAN: You know, I just think it’s going to be a mental thing, mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. I do ice baths and stuff like that and cryotherapy, but sitting in an ice bath at 48 degrees, maybe 45 degrees is the lowest I’ll get the water temperature in an ice bath. That’s a dramatic difference from a 20-degree lake.
WWE.COM: You’re slated to be in the same building as Brock Lesnar on Monday. Does being face-to-face with him make you less nervous than doing the Polar Bear Plunge?
STROWMAN: Oh, definitely not as nervous as the Polar Bear Plunge. I’ve been in the ring with Brock Lesnar, so I know what to expect. Jumping into a frozen lake? I do not know what to expect.