Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just In Case

I'm not shy about my love of bad weather. The most frequent question people here ask me is, "Why in the world would you move here from San Diego?"

My answer never changes.

"Because I missed the seasons. San Diego is always the same."

Most people give me the "you're crazy" look but there always a few that get it. Those few who, like me, crave change, even if it means leaving something comfortable. They understand that although letting go of comfortable is scary, it can also lead to something extraordinary that you might not have otherwise experienced.

If I hadn't left the warmth of So Cal, I would never have learned to downhill ski, or discovered I loved biking in the snow or lived in a chalet in the woods on Lake Michigan. I wouldn't have rediscovered how much I love running in the mud and rain.

One thing I realize about my time in San Diego is how few pictures I have of the place. Sure, there are pictures of friends and races, but I was always so busy running fast or riding fast in the beautiful weather that I forgot to slow down and take it all in. I took every day for granted because I figured the next day would be exactly the same.

This changing of the seasons has reminded me to take advantage of every day. Just in case. Just in case tomorrow there's 20 feet of snow. Just in case tomorrow the snow all melts. Just in case...

Saturday I almost forgot this. It was cold and rainy. I finally talked myself into running in Afton, planning it between the forecasted rain showers. I'm sure you can only guess what happened. I took off in my usual "I'm pretending it's not that cold" outfit, which consists of a hat, gloves, a long sleeve shirt, knee socks and shorts. (Big E might go sleeveless as long as possible. I, however, prefer to go pantsless as long as possible.)  Five minutes down the trail, it started raining. It was tempting to turn around, but I convinced myself to make it into a game, to see how much of the park I could see in one run.

I cut through the weird swamp,

found little flowers growing on the beach,

cruised along the river
 and eventually found a trail I'd never run before.

By the end, I was so cold and wet I could barely open the car door, but you know what?

 It was worth it, just in case....

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