It's 6:20 am EST, 3:20 PST, and I'm sitting in the Tampa International Airport waiting for my flight home. I flew down here 2 days ago for a 4 hour meeting. The weather has been nice, cool for Florida, but 40 degrees warmer than home. I went for a run yesterday afternoon wearing shorts and a t-shirt. In 2 months maybe I can do that at home.
It is always amusing to tell Floridians that you are from Idaho. Some give you a blank stare, knowing only that Idaho is a long way from their world. Others give you a look that I can only imagine is the same look that they would give if you told them that you were an escapee from the local mental institute. They cannot imagine why anyone would live somewhere that is cold for two thirds of the year.
As I ran yesterday, I thought about why I choose to live somewhere that is cold and dark. I do miss the sun in winter, and getting outside to exercise this time of year is a challenge and not always very pleasant. Of course, there is skiing, but that is only a couple of days a week. Most of my winter is frigid bike rides, icy, death defying walks with the mongrels, or eating (I know, eating is not technically exercise, but it is a great winter activity). My conclusion is that winter is like a long run. Like a run, it always takes a little while to get into it. Then as you warm-up, so to speak, it starts to feel pretty good. The snow begins, the skiing starts, life is good. Then, towards the middle of the run, the pain starts. You've not seen the sun in days, weeks, and it's starting to wear on your psyche. Now it's time to just put your head down, lose yourself in your thoughts, and bear it. You know the pain will end, it always does, and at some point the endorphins will kick in and you will be enjoying yourself again. You just have to slog through. Toward the end, if it's been a good run, you'll not want it to end. On the other hand, some runs can't end soon enough, and you think, if I can get through this run, I'm done. I will never run again. But you know you will. It's in your blood, part of your soul.