Running outside in the winter is sometimes the ultimate test of willpower. I’m talking about those days, you know, its fifteen degrees, cloudy, icy, and the wind is literally blowing so hard that at some point you are running at almost a standstill. You have on leggings and pants, two pairs of gloves, an Underarmor turtleneck, your running winter jacket, a hat, and something to go over your mouth and nose, but you’re still cold.
I wasn’t exaggerating. I was glad the police didn’t take me for a robbery suspect.
These are the days where I like to leave my turtleneck in the back of my drawer, and run in the balmy 60 degree weather at the gym, watching Netflix on my iPod (or staying under my electric blanket all day).
However, there is also something to be said about toughing it out.
Life is hard. Life is hard a lot of the time. There are times when we don’t want to listen to that pesky jerk, responsibility, but deep down we know that we have to. If running builds up your leg muscles and your endurance, then running outside in the crappiest weather every once in a while helps build your “real life endurance”.
If you can run in zero degree weather, you can push through that last hour of work, make dinner when all you want to do is lay on the couch, or finish that paper even though your brain is fried. You can do anything you put your mind to.
Yesterday, I had a “crappy day” run. It felt like ten degrees, brrr.
It was so gusting so hard that I thought I was going to get blown off my feet, and there was so much cloud cover. There were points when I thought, “This is so stupid. I could be in my bed right now,” and then I realized that going running was my choice. No one else was making me do this. I was the one who had decided.
Everything in life is a choice. Always. There may be a terrible consequence if you choose wrong, but there is always a choice all the same. We choose to go to work. We choose to go to class. We choose to study honestly. We choose to eat healthy.
So, the next time everything seems terrible, think about choice and the choices that have brought you where you are. It might just help you feel better. Or, if your a crazy runnner, throw on a turtleneck and leggings, and get out that door.
Are you a believer of “what kills you makes you stronger”? Are you a runner? Do you run on treadmills or inside?