Most people have enough sense to come in out of the rain.
In fact, I went out in it on purpose today. And I loved it.
I don’t recommend running in the cold, the rain or the wind to anyone. Just myself. So don’t get mad at me if you go for a run in the wet stuff and end up with a cold. But I find that I use inclimate weather, rain, wind, cooler temperatures- as an excuse to skip my runs or do less indoors -on a treadmill.
And I’ve been doing that a lot lately.
Although it does provide an ample workout in a pinch, it just really doesn’t push me enough and I feel like I have to work harder on the treadmill-but work that is not joyful or fulfilling compared to that freedom of the outdoor run.
Feeling that invigorating cool air on your face, filling up your lungs and chilling your nostrils … why it does my body good. It wakes me up from the inside out.
Today I borrowed my sons Rainsuit jacket. A completely waterproof and windproof jacket that may have weighed a million pounds and had the flexibility of Reynolds wrap but it protected me. It had a great hood with a bill on it and it kept the water off of me. It created a lot of water INside the suit as it increased my sweat factor by ten, but it kept me from getting cold and wet from the weather.
My favorite woodland trek consists of a .75 mile trip that includes mulch foot trails, tree canopy covered woodland paths that lead me across two bridges and wraps up along a winding asphalt walk. I run along a lake, a brook, a peregrine falcon nest, a honeybee apiary, rabbit warrens and deer filled thickets. I run through seasons of spider webs, hovering swarms of gnats, wasps, falling leaves, blooming flowers, beds of mushrooms, masses of fungus, mole tunnels that leave the earth a mushy mess beneath my feet, and I love it.
I usually run this route 3 times to give myself a great 2.5 mile run… but today I ran it only twice. It took me less than thirty minutes. It was absolutely memorable.
Because usually when it comes to deer, I only see remnants of their existence, a section of the woods laid flat from their bedrest the night before, droppings along the foot trail, small digs from their hooves in search of the tender shoots that grow along the edge of the forest…but today, because I was the only one that dared to venture into the wet, windy, Autumnal forest, I came up over a small dip in the trail and straight onto a trio of does. Big ones. One just rising from her bed and two that were already flashing their white tails at me and gone in what seemed to be seconds after they noticed my 210 pound body panting and blundering across the leaves and fallen twigs in my way.
I had to stop.
I had to take notice, if for only a second or two. To acknowledge that blessing. That reminder that although I like to think of them as “my” woods, they belonged to someone else first. Lots of someone “elses”. But we share that space. We appreciate that habitat. They need it to survive, I need it to revive.
Me, the bugs, the animals, the plants. The good, the bad and the wiggly.
I am so glad I went back to where it all began for me today. Back to the place that made me feel that I could do this journey, that I was powerful enough to compete with the negative thoughts that held me back for so long. Thoughts like: “you’re too fat, you’re too old, you’re too slow, too tired, too unhealthy…to change.” Because although I am fat, it’s true, I don’t like the word, but I am. I weigh more than I should, but I am healthier, I am not old and I’m pretty doggone fast when I get my zombie mindset or just decide to flat out run for it for no other reason than to see how fast my legs will carry me.
I’m so glad I got wet today. That I sweat today. That I ran.
It makes it easier to get up and do it tomorrow. If I dont make it back to the woods because the weather is just too bad, I will go back eventually. I’m no fool, I’m not running in lightning, thunder or ice. But I am going to try to go there as much as I can. Especially now that I know I can borrow some clothes from a generous son, that will make me waterproof.