MARQUETTE – On the shore of Lake Superior, two women have been braving the elements, and jumping into the ice-cold waters of Lake Superior, for a cause; mental health awareness.
Two weeks ago, Morgan Watts challenged herself to begin jumping into wintery Superior every day; a challenge she said began as a way for her to conquer her own mental health struggles. “It’s about my journey and battle with depression, and by jumping into Lake Superior where it’s freezing cold, and if I can do that I can do a lot of other things in life,” Watts said. “I’m way more capable and powerful, and, I’m trying to spread that message, that everyone is.”
Watts, who is often accompanied by her friend Alyssa Higgs, began documenting the jumps on her TikTok account, @wattcakes, which has currently amassed 15.1k followers. The two women hope that by spreading a message of positivity, power, and perseverance, they can help show others what they’ve learned from the experience.
Higgs says that the plunge also has some physical contributions to your well-being; “It’s actually really good for you…it helps with your endorphins and mental health..It can be really beneficial in a lot of ways, like, your circulatory system.”
Under the hashtags #coldwaterplunge & #coldwaterswimming, others on TikTok have replicated the challenge or done their own versions. It’s important to remember to exercise caution if trying to do your own Cold Water Plunge, make sure you have a change of clothes and a warm place to run to after taking the plunge to avoid putting yourself at risk from complications such as hypothermia.
Watts and Higgs hope to continue their dives for as many days straight as they can.