She creamed Melissa and James.

Eventually I called the police because Stephanie wouldn't leave. She stayed for 21 minutes, holding that big ball of freezing cold ice.

I was very impressed! I know she'll make a great judge or senator one day, if they can re-attach that hand.

I hardly had a minute to rest. I was beset by ice ball handlers. More than 25 people tried, and almost all of them were able to meet or beat the one minute mark.

Caylynne held it for four minutes, five seconds.

I don't have an explanation for why everyone else was better at this than I had been.

As the night yielded more and more successful trials, I concocted a theory. When I had held the ice balls, they were fresh out of the freezer, probably 15 degrees below zero (-14°C). Out here in the summer air, they had warmed to a balmy zero degrees (0°C). Much warmer!

Valerie was up for the challenge.

Jess passed the challenge!

Keith logged a three and a half minute time!

About halfway through the night I remembered that I had prepared an ice donut to hold the ice ball.

I added a light below the ball to enhance it's mysterious power over the crowd.

Qasim, Ethan and Meghan. Qasim won this round with a time of ten minutes and 22 seconds. Meghan came in second with a time of seven minutes and eight seconds.

If you are like me, looking at these pictures, you are thinking, "That looks pretty easy".

One of my favorite comments of the night was from a young man who wanted to try it. I placed the ice ball in his palm and reminded him of his goal, "Hold this for ONE minute".

The cold shock hit his hand. "That might be hard".

The Blue Beetle was up for the challenge!

Yvette! Four minutes, eleven seconds!

Kristina held the ice for almost 11 minutes. She was confident that she could have beaten Stephanie's time, but her friends were appealing to enjoy their Saturday night in a bar somewhere.

Kevin and friends. Ice Ball Champions!

I started with six ice balls, but a few were dropped or poked out of my contestants' hands by their rivals.

Carson and Alison. Two minutes, twenty seconds each.

The Ice Ball Challenge was a success! At one a.m. I ditched the ice balls, packed up the car and headed home. The top time of the night was Stephanie!

It was interesting to watch contestants weigh their performance against other people on the Champions board. If the top time was four minutes, someone was ready to beat it. If it was eight minutes, THAT was their goal. Only when Stephanie's name was at the very top, with a staggering 21 minutes, did the glory of the top spot fade away.

If I did Ice Ball Challenge again, I would establish a five-minute maximum, just to keep the crowd turning over.

You might think The Ice Ball Challenge was simply a trick to get people into a painful situation for a minute or two, but I think I was successful on a deeper mission: To assist men and women in testing their mettle. Just like military boot camp, scriptless travel shows and Spartan mud runs, the Ice Ball Challenge reveals a person's inner strength.

Or, uh, weakness.