Finding the beauty in a sub-freezing run

I ran down the street and passed two men bundled up at the edge of their driveway, preparing to go to work.

“Are you crazy?” the one asked with a broad smile on his face.

“Maybe a little,” I replied.

The road turned and I ran past a man out for his morning walk, also bundled up.

“Beautiful day for a run,” he said to me.

“It is,” I replied.

Crazy? Beautiful? Both?

It’s all in how we choose to see it.

Yet another blast of snow and cold blew through the Western New York region yesterday dumping half a foot of snow and bringing with it single-digit temperatures. I desperately wanted to get a few miles in today, trying to get my body ready for the 10-mile race on Saturday. I layered up with two pairs of pants (including high compression socks), two shirts, a jacket and various fleece coverings for my face. It was 9 degrees. The wind was just a breeze, but a cold one at that, making it feel like minus-4, at least according to the weather app on my iPhone.

I dug out my YakTrax, attached them to my trail running shoes, and off I went.

It was cold and slow, but the crisp winter air was actually a joy to be in. The sunrise over the farmers’ fields was beautiful. The fun felt good, albeit a slow challenge. But more and more the challenge I’m finding is not between me and the clock but about me and that space between my ears.

I might have been a little bit crazy. But the crazy led to beautiful, to joy and to that fantastic feeling where I’m ready to bring my best self to the day.

Crazy beautiful. That’s what it was.

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