The first thing I did after quitting the gym (besides gloating to my coworkers who are still gym members) was to go home and go for a run. It was a quick and easy run—just two miles and about 15 or 16 minutes—and when I walked in the door, I felt just relieved.
“That felt really good,” I told my wife.
I like to run when it’s cold out, honestly. I think runners who give up when it gets cold are missing out the best time of the year for running. I mean, you get built-in outdoor air conditioning. You get to see the stars when they’re at their prettiest. Snowy surfaces are softer.
This is probably the first year, I’ve kept up my running habit the whole way through the winter, but two years ago, in the fall, I used to run up a certain hill bright and early in the morning. I’d get to the top just in time to see the sunrise over the pointy peak of Grand Teton in the distance. I loved it, needless to say.
I started doing the same run again when I broke out of gym prison. Yep, sure enough, Grand Teton was still there. But so were some other scenic elements. One time, I did that run in the middle of a snowstorm. I watched the clouds roll through the hills as I ran up to the apex. Incredible!
Then there was the night I got stuck snowshoeing on the soccer field. It had just snowed, and I didn’t think I could get my car to my typical parking spot by the hill, so I defaulted to the soccer field. Above me, a sort of misty cloud encircled the moon and a handful of very bright stars. It reminded me of the time my future wife and I watched the northern lights years ago.
Tonight, I saw Grand Teton again—just before the sun went down. But I also discovered another reason why not everyone loves running outdoors in the winter. I took a steep dirt-road downhill a bit too fast and I slipped and fell on my rear end. I guess you have to make certain deals with fate.
So far, this one’s been worth it.