We Interrupt this Training Plan for …

Sunday Runday, and I woke up to a skiff of fresh overnight snow and a minus twenty world out my front door.

Yeah, you read that right: -20C. (Not even mentioning the “feels like” -33C wind chill estimate that accompanied the forecast on my weather app.)

As I was eating my breakfast, one of my running partners (who is a government meteorologist) texted me at 7am with the (I assume) professional advice of “stay warm, I will not be out this morning…”

And then I did the thing I’ve done too often this past year and a half…

What do you wish you’d done
less of this past year?

… I tried to get out of my run.

Sure, it was the coldest day of the season to-date, and sure, I’ve been feeling a little lazy since slowly nursing a sore heel back to health.

But the last twenty-one months has been full of countless excuses to curl up in a ball on the couch and ignore the realities of life, the universe and everything. Who hasn’t wanted to do exactly that? Sometimes multiple times per day.

This morning as I looked at the outside temperature, as stuck my barefoot out the back door, as I let the dog out at quarter past six in the biting cold, I immediately started thinking of additional excuses to stay home in my pajamas and curl up on the couch with a coffee and Netflix … y’know, instead of doing a training run.

I didn’t stay home.

I wanted to bail.

But the text message thread the followed left me feeling guilty that one of my other partners had already left his house and was en route to our meeting place. I complied. I layered up in my warmest gear, dug a fuzzy buff and an extra pair of wooly mittens from the cupboard, and made my way in my truck (switching on the 4×4 for the treacherous roads) over to the nearby parking lot from where we usually leave. Nine klicks later of slogging through the cold and snow and wind. The sun was barely cracking the horizon and as it lifted over the frosty treeline just to the side of the path a beautiful winter sunrise cracked a bit of the cold and offered a hint of apricity against the brutal, biting freeze. A cold run. A run at the limit of my cold threshold. Weather that literally hurts. We ran for nearly an hour with frost clinging to our lashes and ice crusting on the brims of our toques.

I wanted to bail, bail like I’ve done a few too many times this past span of time, but this time I did not. I ran. I froze. I kept running. And ultimately I returned to the warmth of a hot cup of coffee and some good conversation. But I wanted to bail nonetheless.

In 2021 I wish I’d done a little less of that wanting to skip the things that used to be the highlights of my everydays, runs, and adventuring, and getting out and about. I know there have been great excuses, often even mandates and strict rules enforcing those same reasons, but I wish I’d had less opportunity to slip into whatever pattern it has created for me and left me thinking first of a reason not to do something than the former excitement that launched me off that couch and into the world.

I don’t know for sure how to do that less, but I think it’s worth aspiring to.

Thirty one topics. Thirty one posts. Not exactly a list… but close. In December I like to look back on the year that was. My daily posts in December-ish are themed-ish and may contain spoilers set against the backdrop of some year-end-ish personal exposition.