Tuesday, December 06, 2011

December Shadows



I’m back at work and feeling better – but not 100%.

Every time I recover from some malady, I’m struck by the fact that it probably started earlier than I realized. Looking back, I was probably “under the weather” by about Wednesday or Thursday last week. My day off Friday was less than productive – which should have been a clue – but the buzz of opening night kept most of my symptoms at bay. As I reported yesterday, I performed Saturday’s show with a splitting headache (should have taken more than 2 ibuprofen), and by Sunday I was Mr. Crabby.

After lunch today, I ventured out into the 18 sunny degrees only to find the sun already casting long shadows at 2:15 in the afternoon! Ah, December in Minnesota.
Many of my colleagues who walk at lunch are now walking indoors. The facilities folks have a web page with maps of the outdoor walking paths AND the indoor routes – with distances for each.

Please – indoor walking? I’m not a big fan of indoor exercise. This is Minnesota – I say, “Get used to it.” Besides it’s only December 6, and I enjoy the look some give me when they see me in my coat, hat, scarf, and gloves heading out to brave the elements. My rule is that you can’t legally complain about the long, cold winters until late February – or at least after Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no snow freak – no winter camping for me. But I cross country ski occasionally, ice skate (outdoors of course), and enjoy walking almost daily. Lately I’ve come to appreciate shoveling of all sorts. I find roof raking the best for upper body strength and conditioning. Winter in Minnesota – it’s like your own private fitness center, without the fees, and no lines at any of the machines.

Most days you can dress warm enough to fend off the elements. On even the bitterest days, I find that if you dress in layers (but you knew that), and cover your exposed skin, you can enjoy a bit of fresh air – and possibly some elusive winter sunshine. And watch your footing! A few years back I slipped on ice while walking the dog. The result was whiplash and two fractured vertebrae, but I don’t think I missed any dog-walks because of the injury – though they were pretty slow for about a week or so. I’m now as cautious as my 81 year old mother when I see ice.

Maybe if you can’t/won't go outside for over one-quarter of the year you should consider moving.

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