Wear layers and keep moving

The website which routinely delivers my weather news noted it felt like 9 degrees. It was starting to snow. And I was ready to go.

It was time to head out for a snowshoe adventure. Granted it was tame both in duration and terrain. And granted at the farthest possible corner of the loop my toes and fingers were starting to go numb. And that plantar fasciitis in my right foot? Yeah, it was starting to bother me.

But that jaunt was exactly what I needed.

Forget crisp. This was cold bordering on bitter.  A shock to the senses sometimes helps stir things up, physically and mentally.

Yes, winters in Western New York can be tough. And long. And did I mention long? Previous coping mechanisms had been to eat junk food, watch too much television and whine. But that no longer fits into what I want for my life. So the only other option is to embrace winter.

How to survive in the cold? Wear layers and keep moving. Ice skating has been part of my activity repertoire. When I was but a toddler, our backyard flooded in the fall, froze in the winter and my dad strapped four-bladed skates to the bottom of my boots. If memory serves correct, Tuesdays and Thursdays were free skate at the Kenan Center. Ice skates hung in my elementary school cubby during the day and we would walk to the rink instead of straight home after school.

In the past few years, I added snowshoes to my list of outdoor activities. Not that I’ve gone out on them often. The excuse is usually lack of playmates. Mark got me out this weekend and for that I am grateful. It’s right in line with my desires for this year — doing things I love with people I love — and it reminded me that if we move in the direction of the things we want, life has a funny way of supporting us.

For the first time in four years,, I enter a new calendar year without any big athletic firsts. No first triathlon. No first marathon. No first Ironman. My desire for performance goals are really just for my amusement and frankly doesn’t excite me like conquering those inaugural events did. Getting back healthy in order to train and race this summer is the real goal of the next few months. Healing, however, can be boring. And that’s been a difficult adjustment.

Just as I was looking for a bit of wisdom with which to start the week, The Dalai Lama had a tweet today (yes, the Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has a Twitter account) which read:

With the realization of ones own potential and self-confidence in ones ability, one can build a better world.

Sometimes, you see, it’s not necessarily about having a well-constructed plan. Often, it’s only about your energy and your thoughts.

Injury and training plans will come and go. My only true goal is to continue to create joy in my life. At times, without the big picture goal, life feels like a bit of an aimless wander. Sometimes aimless wanders are fun. Sometimes, they produce anxiety. When the later happens, the best course of action is to remember is to wear layers and keep moving.

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