When the Cold is Worth It

I came back home frozen. My whole body was stiff and that made me even more unsteady on my feet. I could still move, but I told my dad not to let go. He helped me back into the house. Slowly. Because my legs couldn’t go very fast. They needed time to thaw.

I went to stand by the couch. It’s a favorite spot as I can pause there and lean on the armrest. This gives my legs a change of position rather than just standing without the support. I’m not always ready to sit or lay, but I like to stand there. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I visit with friends. This afternoon I stood there to warm up. I even pulled out a stocking hat to speed up the thawing.

Welcome to October…when my legs often stay cold throughout the whole winter. I have some tricks, like long knee socks and leggings and more layers, but they mostly stay cold. I’m used to it, but as we enter fall, I’m usually slow to pull out all the layers. I slowly say goodbye to the warm days and embrace the coolness and the season of cardigans and scarves.

But today I jumped right in to the chilly air. I took a run with a friend and we did 5 miles. Technically my friend did the running part and I did the riding part. She pushed me in a jogger that was made for people with disabilities.

We’ve done a few races in recent years. Short ones. A 10k here. A 5k there. We’re doing another race at the end of the month and we’re excited to keep going. We may think bigger and longer races next year.

Why not? Now I know what it’s like to take a run through my neighborhood. I’ve experienced the adrenaline of racing through the streets and seeing others cheer you on to the finish line. I also know what it’s like to get lost in thoughts and be free of any stress. I may not know what it’s like to warm up as you run. I’m riding so I’m the one who gets cold. But I don’t mind letting the wind blow through my hair and into my bones. It wakes me up on the inside and it gives me another chance to enjoy the outdoors.

I’ll be thawing my legs all winter, or trying to. It was worth coming home with frozen fingers and toes.