As I sit here in bed under the warm, cozy blankets on a Sunday morning, I can see that it’s a mere 19 degrees out my window. (I know it because the giant PECO building with the scrolling LED lights tells me so.)
In the past — in fact, for the last eight years or so — I’d have scoffed at the building. “You don’t scare me, winter” I’d think. And I’d roll out of bed, into twelve thousand layers of leggings and under armor, throw a hoodie over my head (pull those strings nice and tight), and head out the door. I’d probably be sporting my ski socks, pulled up high over my calves. I can create quite the spectacle in my winter running gear. Here’s proof from last year.
This year, for the first time, I’ve turned into a total wimp. I made it far into the season, running straight into the beginning of January. And don’t get me wrong, there will probably be many, many more frozen runs to come.
But for the most part, when I’ve seen 19 degrees out my window, I’ve just thought … YUCK.
This didn’t come out of nowhere, and I think there are a number of reasons why I’ve avoided sub-temperature runs.
- The cold that will not die. I’ve had a lingering cold and cough since October that, seriously, no matter how much kale I eat, will not go away. It’s making me more sensitive to things like running in freezing weather and drinking too much wine. Life’s hard these days.
- I discovered a great new studio. It’s called Thrive, and it’s just a couple of blocks from home. They have a range of classes I’m interested in that go well beyond yoga (I grew pretty board of that song and dance long ago). So far, I’ve done a mat Pilates class and a 45-minute (perfect for a crowded workweek!) barre class. I plan to go to their barre class again today, this time for the full hour.
- Maybe I’m just getting older? Probably not. I imagine that, if I were in full health, I’d be up to my usual antics. Layers on layers on layers. Runs on runs on runs. This year, for whatever reason, is just … different. But that brings me to a good point.
In forgoing my daily runs for a variety of other classes and workouts, I’ve shaken up not only my routine but my body and mind. It’s weird, no doubt. I don’t get the same high from ballet as I do a windy run where tears fall frozen down my cheeks. I don’t feel nearly as badass.
But, I am noticing a difference. I feel calmer, more zen. I feel balanced, albeit sore all the time having taken classes that hit all sorts of muscles that running does not. I feel a little more muscular — which is kinda cool.
So, what’s the moral of the story? For me, it’s that it’s okay to wimp out during the winter here and there. And, more than anything, it might even create new opportunities to experiment, discover, try, fail, succeed … whatever. It might even take you to an ice skating rink.
My nephew Becker and I ice skating last Sunday. This is the one picture where he’s not making some insanely wacky face. Oh, to be five again.
Exploring different health-minded routines can be fun. See where it takes you.
Bonus: 60-Minute Home Workout, Courtesy of YouTube
Looking for a good hour-long routine that you can do right from your living room? I put this one together last time I was home at my parent’s house in New York, and couldn’t find a decent yoga or barre studio nearby. Big fan. Enjoy!