A cold morning run

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

The app on your phone says -19. You grab the new set of tights from the drawer, sliding them over morning legs. Wind pants, a compression shirt, another long-sleeve shirt, and a t-shirt. You almost forget the wool socks, but the cold floor on your feet is a sudden reminder.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

The empty jacket still sends a chill over your body, despite being inside a warm house. Your face is enveloped by the balaclava; its fabric sticking to the stubble on your head like velcro. One more hat and you feel ready to go. With so much frozen ground the shoes with screws on the bottom are the way to go.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

The first inhalation of breath as you exit the warmth of home, shocks your lungs. You look around at the clear blue sky and listen. Nothing.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

You know that soon your body will warm, but the first few blocks are frigid and stiff. Soon your pace relaxes as you pass all the familiar sights of this simple route. The park, inaccessible for the snow. The school, cold and dormant for the weekend. Every stop sign, curb, and even tree is familiar to you. The comfort of familiarity warms you even more.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

Soon, the body has kicked in and heart pumps warm blood to all extremities. You’ve learned over the years to protect your core, so that it can send warmth to the fingers and toes. Today’s temperature is a challenge, but you know you can endure a bit of cold.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

As you round one of the many corners you listen once again. Nothing. The air is so cold that sound itself has gone into hibernation. You hear your own heartbeat. Your breath is as loud as a rushing river. Nature realizes that you have disturbed its silence and the cold rushes into your body, forcing you back into a run again.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

The crunching sound of your strides become a mocking cry at the winter air. “HA! I’m disturbing your silence! You can’t catch me!” So you run. You keep moving. You keep running away from the cold, as you run headlong in to it. You can’t stop now until you’ve reached the safety of home.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

Before you know it, three miles have passed and you’re staring at your front door. You know that you’ve beaten winter, and that it is time to go inside. The cold is right behind you, ready to chill your bones and freeze your flesh, now covered in sweat. But the silence of the morning is hypnotizing. You have to pull out the phone and take a picture or two of the stillness of the morning. Pictures don’t have sound, but for some reason you always feel the silence when looking at winter scenes.

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

It’s time to start the warming process. You unlock the door and step into a blast of heat in your face. Smells and sounds invade your senses. Gone is the cold, silent, stillness. But it is warm, and for that you are grateful. The day will continue to unfold, in the comfort and warmth of home. You feel blessed for the warmth, yet you miss the cold. Pausing as you remove your layers, you close your eyes and remember…

crunch, crunch, crunch… 

 

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