A lifelong admirer of anything outdoors related, I’ve been following Outside magazine for as long as I can remember. Honestly, having their emails in my inbox every day helps distract me from the countless petitions that get sent my way (#2017). Recently, they published an article about running that kind of stuck with me and in this week’s reflection post, I’m going to delve into why that is (and also share my weekly pretty shots per usual).
If I had been able to winter run this year, maybe I wouldn’t feel so strongly about this post. After all, the writer is more just going for the general “don’t be a couch potato” and “stay in shape during the colder season” kind of writing. Which I get, to an extent, but as someone who loves to run, this season wasn’t easy. Parts of northern Michigan are barely plowed during winter, as I learned, and some days it was almost unbearable trying to get out of my neighborhood and onto the trails. I found my passion in a new sport, as you guys know, and this unpredictable winter weather did not make me happy. I am not a fan of the heat and I know I’m in the minority (hence why I’m headed to Alaska), but the 60s and 70s degrees weather can really just stay in the April to September time frame (thank you very much).
Back on topic, however, I don’t think that taking a break for a season makes you a “wannabe” runner like the author states. There are countless factors that go into a decision, like that, but it could also be as simple as preferring a new sport for once (yay nordic skiing). As someone with a history of ankle problems, I have learned to make compromises with the activities I partake in (which is not easy/fun). While I absolutely love running in the winter, the season when there aren’t too many people in your way, this year was a bit different. The ice definitely killed my vibe. If this current EPA budget plan also goes through (#notmypresident), the Great Lakes restoration program will also by decreased by 97%. Like, don’t even get me started on that tangent, but communities like mine will definitely be affected. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in northern Michigan next winter when safe roads are generally nonexistent for this season. Nevertheless, ice + bad ankles = a risk I wasn’t willing to take.
So why do I care so much about this sport?
High school was a transformative time for me, where I really developed into myself and found what I was passionate about. It was also a time when I took those passions a little too far, and developed an unhealthy obsession with the gym and running. I won’t go into it too far, but as everyone knows, young women tend to feel pressure and a range of emotions. It’s all about how you channel that into something you love and unfortunately, in my case, I was a part of the statistics who took it too far. Fortunately, I bounced back from that mindset, but it’s taken a lot of time for me to get to where I am.
I accept myself and I absolutely love challenging myself, to see what I can accomplish. Like yesterday, when I spent 6 hours skiing around the Sleeping Bear Dunes (holy sand). My body was pretty much dead after that for the rest of the day and mentally that was a pretty difficult adventure, but I pushed through it. And looking back now, I am so glad that I checked that off my list and I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish next. But my life must include a balance, of those days and restorative days, to stay the best me. And that can feel annoying, let me tell you. As a Capricorn, I err on the side of perfectionism and internalizing issues, which doesn’t help with the balance of acts. I wish I could be one of those adventure seekers, and devote my life to such experiences. If that was the case, I would definitely be a mountain runner or ultra runner. My body won’t allow that, however, and I’ve come to a place that accepts that (even though I kinda hate it).
So why do I love running so much?
Honestly, I love the freedom that running gives me. I love to run in the early mornings as the sun is rising or at night when there aren’t too many people to get in your way. That is literally my ideal day. I love that you can take whatever life has handed you and express it out through running, to bounce back from anything. I love the feeling of long distance days and the knowledge that I can do whatever I set my mind to. That adrenaline rush? Yeah, I’m all about that. It’s a passion that I can’t really justify beyond that, other than it just makes me feel happy and at peace. But as I’ve grown up, there is the balancing act in play. I no longer get upset if I have to miss a day and I don’t get angry if I’m just not feeling it on another day. I’m happy if I can just get out there during the week. It isn’t always about people making excuses that keep them back from something. Anything can have extenuating circumstances, like in my case with winter running. But I can say that I have 2 more months left in Michigan, and Spring is almost upon us, so I can’t wait to use what time I have left to hit the trails (#missingwinteralready).
And in other news:
When your job is to ghostwrite blogs, it definitely takes away your motivation to blog personally. My new goal is to post every Sunday, just for expression and connecting with readers.
My new Rossignol nordic skis are the absolute bomb.com. Makes me sad that all the snow we got a few days ago is currently melting. This winter was the absolute worst. But my new Fischer boots? Already have to make a call about my warranty and a defect
I’ve also gotten into a regular schedule of pilates, which is kicking my butt (#literally).
I’m still sticking to my plan of exploring a new part of northern Michigan each week, let me know if you have a recommendation or experience you’d like to share with me. From Northport down to Empire, this week was awesome.
Wishing you a very sunshiney week (even though it’s supposed to rain where I’m at)!!