Cold Day Run

It was thirty-nine degrees today, with wind at fifteen miles per hour. In the spring, when it blows at twice that speed on a regular basis, I would call that a light wind. But it’s not cold in the spring. It’s normally not cold in the winter, either, for which I’m grateful. I have a low tolerance for low temperatures. Still, I had to get out and run. The weather had been even less inviting for the previous two days. A third day without prolonged outdoor time would have been far worse than wearing the winter running gear I’ve so seldom needed since moving to Truth or Consequences. My mind and body crave nature, light, and movement.

It would have been easier to stay indoors, but less rewarding. The sky was brilliant New Mexico blue, and no one else was out on the trail. No humans, that is. On my third loop, there were fresh deer tracks, signs they had been there just before me. By the end of my run, my face was cold, and my fingers and wrists deeply chilled through my gloves, but I’m glad I braved the weather. It was uncomfortable at times, but whenever I turned a curve that took me out of the wind, I cherished the reprieve and communed with the winter sun.

I have a list of unpleasant tasks I’ve been crossing off, one by one, but a few remain—and they’ve remained on that list a long time. I have to remind myself that the actual doing of the difficult thing is less stressful than thinking about doing it.

 

While We Hold Still, Time Doesn’t

I came across this phrase years ago in my fitness work: While we hold still, time doesn’t. When we procrastinate exercising, we don’t maintain the status quo but get into worse shape. The same is true of the planet. While world leaders and national leaders put off serious action on climate change for too many years, the process didn’t pause and wait for them to get around to something. I want to believe that the new agreement forged in Paris will lead to action, finally. While conscious pausing can be positive—taking time to deliberate and then choose an action—inaction can lead to negative consequences as powerfully as any unwise action might.

I’ve been thinking about my own areas of procrastination. I don’t wrestle with the behaviors people typically make New Year’s resolutions about, such as eating right and staying fit. However, there are plenty of things I put off as if they will take care of themselves—tedious paperwork chores that are much less fun than running. Choosing between what feels good today that will lead to something bad tomorrow and something that calls for discipline and discomfort today that will lead to a greater good tomorrow seems to be the key issue in procrastination—along with the delusion that time holds still with us. Meanwhile, the forces of physics, the marketplace, biology and karma keep moving.