Sunday, December 16, 2007

Until Now I Never Had Much in Common With Sylvestor Stallone

This morning the tempture was about half-past freezing, so I thought it might be perfect for an early run.

Shocking, I know, because I am the one who refuses to take my children to the pool when it's below 85 and I don't even break a good sweat until the mercury hits the mid 90's. I may have determined the location of my college education in part due to the climate and have never once complained about heat on our many trips to Phoenix.

What I'm saying is: I like it hot. Really hot. Not cold. Ever. Not balmy. Not cool. Not refreshing. And brisk only in the month of October. HOT.

So I am baffling even myself with this new/sudden desire to pile on the clothes and voluntarily run outside in the snow.

This morning, I had no less than five layers of clothing on my upper half alone. My hands didn't warm up until 20 minutes out (when I could no longer feel them anyway) and I spent three or four minutes of the run trying to determine if my toes were still attached to the greater part of my foot. (I am happy to report that they were.)

Yet there is a serenity so rare that only the sharp bite of cold and glimmer of snow create. Crunching ground brings monotony that is rhythmic and calming. So quiet was the neighborhood that I heard with amazing clarity each pick of the guitar strings through the miracle of my iPod.

Just when I determined that I didn't need to turn back to avoid accidentally and prematurely freezing my organs for science, I realized that I was actually ok. The uphill climb forced warmth through my blood vessels while working in tandem with all my gloriously synthetic clothing. This formed a haven of sorts for me to focus on the Creator who scattered the snow, froze the earth, and originated the idea of fire for warmth. (And Gore-Tex, too, but I do not believe that was available to the early church.)

The simplicity and beauty of it all was just perfect. Simple strides in snow, heavenly harmonies through the earbuds, and a body blessed with the ability to run and push itself harder and farther.

So I couldn't help but wonder if that's exactly what Rocky Balboa thought while he tranied in Russia to prepare for the big fight. Running in the cold and racing the clydesdales certainly bolstered his fortitude. After today, I know there certainly is a precious strength that comes from facing the elements and feeling victorious.

There is also probably a strength that comes from knocking out Ivan Drago after fifteen rounds when even the Russian Polit Bureau begins to chant "U-S-A! U-S-A!", but I will stick with the chilly wintery running.


Anonymous said...

Now you know. dad

MarysMom said...

I took a walk after I saw my daughter off on the school bus this morning. I figured, I'm already bundled up and outside, might as well get some exercise and walk in 20F but otherwise sunny morning. I had to be careful of some icy patches but all inall, I thought I was going on a good clip and would start feeling warm sometime soon. Never got to that. I started getting worried about my toes as I could not feel them. My feet were moving so I thought they must be ok.
I admire you for running...