Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Do It Anyway

 I detest the cold.

I mean, I truly detest the cold. I get cold easily and don't warm up again easily. The only way I can get to sleep in the winter is by letting my electric blanket warm me, mainly my feet, and then turning it off. Otherwise, my cold feet will keep me awake most of the night. They Do Not Warm Up by themselves. They refuse.

I also don't like the dark. I like light, preferably sun light. I use day time bulbs to imitate it, since here in cloudy West PA, sun is a limited commodity. Too much gray and dark makes me cranky and tired.

As you can guess, winter is not my favorite season. The days are too cold and too short. 

However, I've been on a walking challenge for the past year and a half. More technically, I've just started my fourth 100 extra miles walking challenge. That "extra" is a big deal. I'm on my feet a good bit these days taking care of a lot of little ones, most of whom would usually be in school during this time of the year, but due to events, are cyber schooling instead. So they're with me while their parents work. Add in the 4 yr old and 1 yr old, and that's a lot of regular daily steps. It's been much harder to get those extra steps in, because ... well, I'm tired once their parents take over. I'm no spring chicken any more.

I'm also holding my own for my past-middle-age-arthritic-easily-broken body. Eh. It is what it is, right? It's all good, as Pete the Cat would say. 

Last year when it got cold, I moved my walking inside to my treadmill because ... well, COLD!

I've done some of that by now, too. Still, walking outside feels better. I love the fresh air. I love the view of nature, watching for things I haven't seen or things I have that are worth paying attention to again.

I've learned something funny about myself recently: I think I'd like to run if I could. I can't. Not an excuse for not wanting to work up, just a reality I've had to face after trying to work up.

I've learned something else, too: I don't really mind walking in the cold.

That's what I did tonight. It was 30 degrees and the sun was starting to set, but while waiting for my granddaughter to enjoy her dance lessons (they don't want us waiting inside now, due to ... well, same thing), instead of sitting in my running car to stay warm as some do, I walked. Now, I prepared with long underthings and two pairs of socks. And I didn't walk fast since the road was wet and, in places, slippery, and I can't take an unnecessary fall risk. But I did walk. Half a mile. No record, except for me to walk in 30 degrees, voluntarily.

It was refreshing, really. And it's good for the immune system. I think a lot of us get in trouble with illness because we hide in heated houses/offices/etc all winter, and indoor air just isn't very healthy. It isn't.

So many people took to parks and sidewalks this spring, more than normal. That's a good thing. But maybe we should do more of it this winter, also. Trust me, if this naturally lazy cold-hater can do it, probably most people can. Even five minutes here and there. Step outside. Get moving. Breathe deep.

And whatever you hear from without or within, just do it anyway.

(Those lines in the photo above, they're from a stroller. I wasn't the only grandma out there tonight.)