Years ago, back in the dating days, hubs and I spent the day at the Lincoln Zoo in Chicago on a sunny summer Saturday. Or maybe it was a Sunday. My memory is a little fuzzy. What I do recall and what we joke about even now is how we came upon a sign to see the “Snow Tiger.” But the Snow Tiger was nowhere to be found. Perhaps she was napping behind the large oak or camouflaged in with the white paint on the back wall and we just couldn’t see her.
“There’s no Tiger.” My comedian friend said. “Get it? Ssssnow tiger.”
Now whenever we visit Chicago and reunite, inevitably something comes up that creates the perfect opportunity to rehash that old joke. Snow. S. No. Maybe you just had to be there.
Anyway, speaking of snow, the first real snowfall in New York happened Christmas Eve. Made the evening rather magical, really.
“Now Santa can ride his sleigh and he won’t get stuck in the mud!” My five-year old exclaimed. Yeah. We still have one who still “believes.” But come on, didn’t you consider Santa to be real, even just a little, after watching Polar Express. I certainly vouch for the beard sportin’ red coattailed swag of a fella. He was good to me this year. My toes are thankful too. Nothing like slipping into fuzzy socks to combat the frigid evening draft that manages to seep in from under the doorway.
But the Christmas Eve snowfall came and left. Melted with the morning sun. A few days later, a nor’easter blew through the east coast and this time we had enough snow to warrant the one word Facebook Status update of “SNOW!” I think several of us felt the need to announce it, in case someone out there was sitting behind his cubicle at work and had no idea what he would be facing come the five o’clock whistle.
And I actually don’t mind snow. But I am not a fan of ice. Taken one too many falls that ignited the sailor in me, and I must confess, we’re talking with a little more edge than your typical Popeye.
I met a sailor once. A real live one. I was sixteen and one of those famous ships [apology to all you history buffs that pay attention to all the wars and ship names etc.] docked on the Detroit/Windsor border and my BFF and I ventured downtown to take the tour. While on board, I bet my best friend that I could convince a sailor to give me his white cap.
“I dare you to try.” Didn’t take much to egg me on.
And I got one! A little smiling and a lot of charm, and I did not even have to kiss the dude. Honest story. He bought my tale of needing the hat to get extra credit for school and I promised to tell my class about his heroism etc. But I digress…
The morning after the first real snowfall that stuck, I woke up with my mind made up to run. But I can’t lie. I’m not a runner by choice. I simply do it to keep my body in order. Especially my neck and back. And when I pound away the miles, everything sort of realign inside. And when I miss too many days, I start to feel like I’m 80. And it’ll be okay to feel 80 when I’m, say, 95, but for now, I want to feel the youthful 29 that I am. *wink*
So I geared up with warm running clothes, threw on a cap to keep my head from frosting, adjusted the volume on my playlist of tunes that keep me trotting, and took off. Slowly.
The road was icy. The sidewalks not shoveled. And the black ice the radio announcer always warns you about…the sun bounced off it. Everywhere. Because it was…everywhere. I would say my two-mile adventure turned out to be more of a jog than a run, because I did not want to have a close encounter with the ground.
When I first started running, I felt like the cold air gripped my chest like mafia hands trying to get a secret out of me. And the brrrrr made my eyes tear and my fingers felt numb before I turned the first corner. But around mile one, my temperature changed, alongside my motivation. I actually warmed up enough to take my gloves off and I found a pace that felt fast enough to keep my heart pounding but safe enough to keep from falling. I even angled my body more upright to not give gravity an edge during those slippery steps that were inevitable here and there.
When I returned home, I gave myself a moment to catch my breath and relish in the feeling of accomplishment. I felt tough. Tough Mudder-like. Now if I could just do one pull-up, I might consider getting the letters ™ tattooed on my ankle. For now I just hang on it. And think “lifting” thoughts. There snow pull-ups happening for this Mama as of yet. But 2013 has just begun. Not gonna quit till I get there. Up. And over. One day at a time.
Nothing like a snow run to start off the new year. Snow run like a snow run, all. You have just got to try it. And then report back. Okay!
**How about you? Done anything crazy yet in 2013? What do you want to do for the first time this year? Or do you have a carry-over 2012 resolution that needs addressing. Those are good too. I have a few myself.