I gotta say that experiencing winter is an interesting thing. I know, I know. We haven’t had much of a real winter (yet) this year. But for someone who spent the last 12 years playing tennis outside in the sunshine on a typical January Sunday, living with low 20 degrees on most days and very little sun is not easy. It’s hard to find motivation to get outside. For the majority of the week, my main motivation is the fact that I have to be at work. Other than that, I tend to need some dragging and coaxing to get out of our house.
Is it me or is having to figure out how much layering to wear quite the brain suck? By the time I have all of my gear on, I’m pretty well exhausted. It doesn’t help that I’m frequently cold when most people are not. Add to that fact that I hate feeling cold and you’ve got one neurotic dresser. The anxiety climbs up a little more when N says things like, “once we get going you will warm up.” It makes the whole layering situation far too complex with too many variables—at least for me. Figuring out this clothing balance seems like an art form I have yet to master.
While watching the Nadal-Djokovic match today, all I wanted to do was transport myself to SoCal, put on my tennis duds, some sunscreen and go slap a tennis ball around. Outside. What a fantasy. Just like playing tennis outside isn’t gonna happen, being cooped up inside is not an option for me, either.
Enter snow-shoeing. So I put on my long running leggings, two pair of socks, a sports bra, running tank (extra support needed), long sleeve compression shirt, fleece vest, fleece jacket, ski pants, ski jacket, fleece neck warmer thing, hat and gloves. I can barely bend over to lace up my boots without feeling like I’m going to fall over. I’m sure I must look like Randy in A Christmas Story. After a good 20 minutes of layering and lacing, we are finally outside strapping on our Tubbs. I grab my ski poles and we are off to tromp around the woods behind our rental.
When the crisp fresh air hits my face, it’s a little rude at first. But, as much as I hate to say it, N is right. We take off and I’m not boiling but I’m not uncomfortable either. And I actually kind of enjoy myself. We try to run occasionally which I’m sure is a frightening sight to see. The shift in my mood is palpable. Like ice melting off of me, I go from a crabby old lady to a free-spirited kid who wants to explore and run around. The tree limbs are lined with snow and a little ice and the ground is like a cold pillow molding around my Tubbs.
It’s in that instant that I realize that the 20 minutes of layering hell will always be worth it.