Thursday, December 9, 2010

Think About Winter

This evening I discovered that I enjoy jogging when it is 29 degrees outside more than when it is 85 degrees outside. It's easier for me to get started when it's hot out, but the jogging itself seemed more invigorating and restorative as I moved through the frigid calm this evening. When I walked back in the house, I felt healthy and revived. The stress from my day had been dispelled into the air. For the entire jog, it was just my dogs, nature, and me--in our own pure peaceful world; God was present. It was beautiful.

Most people know how important exercise is, but sometimes in winter it gets ignored. It's like an elephant in the room of your mind. There are holiday treats and parties (more reasons to exercise), but the thought of going out in the cold to walk the dogs or to go to a gym sounds dark and cold, since that's how it looks outside. It's easier to just walk (figuratively, of course) around that elephant in the room (not ideal exercise, by the way!).

Instead of thinking of winter evenings with dread, try to think about the cold the way you did when you were little, when the snow, wet, and cold didn't even faze you. If you didn't like it then either, imagine that you did.

If you were like me, you ran around the yard like a drunken college kid, trying to dodge the snowballs your brothers whipped at you; you built snow forts and snow slides; and you went sledding with your friends, running back up the hill dozens of times, because you were young and you couldn't get worn out. Your mom had to call you in, barely convincing you that you'd been outside long enough. She promised you hot chocolate, which sounded good...outside. But, as soon as you came inside, your glasses fogged up; and, as you peeled off your snowpants, boots, coat, gloves, and hat, you realized how hot you were. Too hot for hot chocolate, but of course you drank it anyway. You had to; hot chocolate was part of the whole winter experience.

Consider the cold; think about the memories of being young. Don't avoid the cold because it sounds too tiring to go out in it. Be young again instead; go out and walk or ski or sled (wait for some snow first...). Enjoy the freshness of the air. Feel invigorated.

Think about winter in the way that you might not have thought about it in a long time.

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