Weathering the “Deep Freeze”
Week #2 of this crazy adventure brought some of the coldest temperatures that we’ve seen this winter. (Note the ice in the above picture.) And as I continued to check in with the local meteorologists before heading out for my run, each of them (no matter what channel or radio station) described our condition as the “deep freeze.” Temperatures that are 20 degrees well below the normal average for this time of year. And the “real feel” is even colder. Awesome! Just what I wanted to hear…again. [Now wait, what is the difference between the temperature and the "real feel"? If it really feels like 0 degrees, how is the temperature 24 degrees? Just curious! I'm having a hard time comprehending this whole weather terminology. I digress.]
But that’s the beauty of having goals. No matter what the obstacle (weather included), there are no excuses allowed. Instead you find yourself adapting and answering back. Fine, I tell myself, I guess I need another layer today. And that’s it. No talking myself out of it or putting it off for another day. It’s winter, remember…still gonna be cold tomorrow!
Though, as much as I could convince myself to fight the cold, I couldn’t speak for my MP3 player. It wasn’t hearing any of my explanations. And in much of the same manner as a child would talk back to his/her parents, my player decided to rebel against me by shutting down. Not even half way into my run on Monday, just as the blood was really starting to flow and the heart starting to pound, and the Dixie Chicks are belting out “Not Ready to Make Nice” (quite the motivational tune)…SILENCE.
Wait, what just happened?
Ahhh, there’s Natalie Maines.
Wait, where did she go?
Seriously, I say to my player…what is wrong with you? (As I shake and hit it.) I still have at least another mile or so to go.
Then I realize, it’s rebelling against the cold. I guess the good people of Dell (sitting out there in Texas) did not equip this thing to handle 20 degree weather (or rather, 0 degrees). So, I continued on in silence (which would be nice if this wasn’t NYC and “actual” silence wasn’t so hard to come by).
I never use to run with music. Not even when I trained for marathons. I would spend hours alone in the mountains or pounding the pavement, with only my thoughts to keep me company. So how did I get to this point? Where I felt this sense of desperation. Pleading with my player to just stay on for one more mile. Just one more mile! Promising it that I would get it a “coat” for the next trip if it would just do me this one favor. I lost.
My only conclusion (for this desperation) is that in order to survive in this city (or maybe just stay sane), sometimes we need a filter. Something that can drown out all of the noise and commotion that is our daily soundtrack. And as funny as it sounds, sometimes the only way to do that is to create your own background noise, even if for just for a few miles…
But as I fill my ears with musical motivation, my eyes are inspired by the sights of this diverse city. I managed to cover about 10 miles this week. And with every step, I discover something new and unique to the changing blocks that I pass. The sense of euphoria overwhelms me each time I enter into unfamiliar territory. The discovery of the “west” side of the city was just what I needed this week. Somehow, we (humans) tend to be creatures of habit and don’t venture out of our comfort zone unless absolutely necessary. That’s how I feel when I realize how much of this city I have been missing over the past two years. But I guess that’s one of the reasons I decided to do this running extravaganza in the first place…to discover everything that is right outside my door.