Milwaukee Lake Michigan winter storm surfer calls weather 'motivating'

An Ash Wednesday winter storm canceled services at some churches, including at Divinity-Divine Charity Lutheran Church in Whitefish Bay. With safety concerns, church leaders moved the services online, preferring parishioners stay warm in their homes. On the other hand, one man said the wicked weather was perfect for getting out on the water.

With wind, rain, sleet, freezing rain, ice and snow, Mother Nature reminded us all we live in Wisconsin. The weather conditions throughout the day Wednesday made it tough to get around.

"We don’t compete with the weather," said David Young, DDC Church.

The weather sometimes forces difficult decisions.

"When the weather gets this bad with the icy roads, we’re like, safety first, absolutely," said Young.

On Ash Wednesday, the pews at DDC Church were empty. No ashes were placed on foreheads.

"Yeah, we’re not going to attempt to have worship in that situation," said Young.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

Young said you don't need ashes to observe Ash Wednesday. He moved the services online.

"Use the time in your own home to meditate and reflect," said Young.

While many tried to avoid being out in the winter storm, Jonathan Friedland prays for it.

"As crazy as it sounds, on days like this, it keeps you close to nature," said Friedland.

The strong winter wind makes for some of the best waves, he said.

"You can’t feel your fingers or toes after a while, but it keeps you going back out there," said Friedland. "It’s motivating."

The amateur surfer was only out on the water for a short period. It was long enough to get his blood pumping.

"A bad day out there, just trying to get up and getting tossed around by the water is a good time," said Friedland.

FOX6's Ashley Sears said standing next to Lake Michigan with Friedland Wednesday may have made for the Top 5 coldest, windiest interviews she has ever done. Facebook reminded her that on Feb. 22, 2017, she was reporting next to the lake on an unseasonably warm day.