Cold, Inside Out
Cold and I have a love/hate relationship. I shouldn’t even give it a second thought, really; I’m a transplanted Northerner, so I grew up in its presence, and I can only ever remember one time in my younger days when I took any notice of it. But I remember the struggle I had with it that night, fighting it, enduring it, calling on my mental reserves to keep me going. Don’t get me wrong, I was only waiting for a ride, not lost in the wilderness, and I was even able to stand indoors. But the freeze took hold of me and wouldn’t be driven out. Cold didn’t notice, perhaps out of spite, that it belonged to the outside of our modern world, and wasn’t welcome indoors. Instead, it decided to make itself at home and stay awhile, in the form of the person standing next to me.
I haven’t been fond of cold for many years since then. It’s hounded me, shaken me, kept me from doing things I wanted to do. Perhaps out of spite, it doesn’t show regard for seasons or the numbers on the thermometer; when it’s 100 degrees outside, cold just invades through the AC. Or the folks who think so meanly of you they don’t even bother to look at you when conversing (if one can even call it that).
But I’m a runner now, and I’m giving cold a run for its money. My running is still in its infancy, and like so many years ago, when I run, I barely notice cold at all. When I do, I find it exhilarating. I welcome bracing, icy gusts so I can glory in how comfortable I feel in their midst, how alive, in unapologetic command. There are things to fear on a run, to be sure, but cold isn’t one of them. Not for me.
Of course, cold can’t be content with that. Not in its nature. It still hangs around, still edges in on me whenever I stay in one place too long. But I know how to deal with that. I don’t have to flee when cold looks my way. I look it in the eye and run right at it. Cold’s a coward, truth be told, and not very good at chicken. But you have to go for broke. Cold is quite adept at rooting out half-heartedness and lack of conviction, and it will cut you off at the knees if you fail to keep yourself warm enough to move and be moved.
So now you know what to do with cold, in all its manifestations. Stay warm, my friends, and run it off!