Thursday, January 14, 2010


Yesterday started out great: I woke up early eager to start my day by writing.  And sipping coffee.  While I carefully measured out my favorite blend, Cafe du Monde, I began to think about the post I was about to write.  I guess I lost track of the number of scoops.  Whoa -- that was some lethal concoction.  After rocketing on caffeine most of the morning, by noon I had fallen into irritability.  Sage fought naptime viciously; I could feel myself growing impatient and annoyed.  Finally she cooperated and happily drifted into slumber.  But I had been screamed at for an hour -- the damage was done.  Rattled and recuperating from a caffeine overload, I decided to go for a run in the two conditions I always avoid: cold and rainy.

Because I see no reason to force oneself to run in miserable weather I do not own running pants or rain gear.  Not even a knit hat, gloves or scarf.  Give me 100 degrees and 100% humidity, and I'll run all day.  Anything below 50 is torturous.  Add in rain or -- eegads, do I dare mention it? -- SNOW and I'll keep my wimpy self inside with a cup of steaming coffee, thankyouverymuch.  Dressing yesterday for what would be My Worst Nightmare (at least in terms of running) was comical, to say the least.  I found a set of black nylon longjohns my mom gave me for Christmas several years ago.  There, layer one.  Completely inflexible and penetrable by moisture but at least I would feel warm.  Layer two: shorts and long-sleeve running shirt.  Perfect.  I borrowed David's rain jacket, which hangs down to the middle of my thighs.  I looked silly, like a child dressing up in her mother's clothes.  (Cute for little girls, silly for grown women!)  Nevermind my appearance, or the fact that only one-third of my layers was actually intended for sport.  I was going to get out of my asylum of a house, burn off some caffeine (and, I hoped, some crankiness) and do something good for myself. 

Note to self: "Mother's Little Helper" and "19th Nervous Breakdown" should never be listened to if you are tempted by the former and on the verge of the latter.  (LOL.)

The weather was, as expected, miserable.  It was cold and felt colder in the Gulf Breeze.  Raindrops felt like needles injecting ice into my quads.  I could hardly see through the barrage of wind and water.  Plus, I was a little too toasty under all the layers.  The rain jacket seemed to get heavier and heavier, sinking me into the sand.  Am I crazy?  I asked myself.  I must be.

Despite all this, I continued to run and think and pre-write.  My body held up pretty well, even seemed to enjoy the challenge.  My mind and soul, too.  I had begun this short journey feeling stressed out and completely turned off by weather conditions, but quickly my mood improved.  I felt triumphant, committed.  I had stuck with my plan to run regardless of the day's obstacles. 

Back at home, I greeted David, all smiles.  He must think running is magical, because it certainly transformed me yesterday.  (Sorry for snapping at you, dear.)  My body felt great!  I had purged the morning's demons and was ready to resume my day. 

Funny, isn't it?  Sometimes we think we don't like something -- a particular food, running in rainy weather, etc.  But then we try it, and it's not so bad after all.  Or we commit to making positive changes in our community, but give up because it seems impossible.  Believe me, starting a sustainable landscape business in 2001 in the Dallas area -- a market not exactly touted as a green-friendly one -- was not easy.  Crazy, some people said.  We did it, and despite the challenges, grew into a thriving green business.  Building a niche business in a highly competitive market required a lot of time and patience...and we had no money.  Times were really tough, as the saying goes.  To be honest, I threatened to "fire myself" many times along the way.  We remained true to our mission, however, and eventually our commitment paid off.

Now that my focus has shifted to making positive changes in myself, I won't give up just because the weather is nasty.  Or I'm flying high on caffeine and can't think clearly.  Or I'm tired and sore, need to clean the kitchen, want to start reading that book sitting on the shelf for a long time...I have fulfilled one short-term goal today; I have posted to this blog.  Now it's on to others that, cumulatively, will guide me toward a better Me.


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