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Are you going out in that?!?

She doesn’t think I notice her looking me up and down, like she does every morning I head out the door under uncertain circumstances. “I guess they will see your pink hat,” says Mom, with that tone that also says, “I don’t approve.”

I retort, “Have you seen it out there? It’s all WHITE.” And so it seemed logical to me that I wear my black running gear today, on my first true snow run. I am nearly breathless with anticipation, already sweating under body armor tights, the fleece jacket and wool socks, the ear cover, stocking cap and gloves. It isn’t the coldest run I’ve taken, but yesterday’s snow presents a new challenge.

My breath follows me out the door and down the stairs. I smile at the cush, cush, cush under my sneakers. I had considered the clubhouse treadmill, as I am still nursing a rolled ankle. My beau and I actually spent several minutes this morning, discussing the “wisdom” of a snow run at this point in my recovery. The footing would be too unstable. Twenty-two degrees meant ice patches were likely. It would be slow going. Would I even get a decent workout? But the blanket of powder and fog over the otherwise familiar neighborhood route was all too tempting.

And exhilarating. I adjusted my cadence from long, reaching strides to quick little stamps that kept my feet under me. I gamboled over a snow bank and almost laughed out loud. At forty years old, I feel like the kid I always should have been. The footing was unstable. There were icy patches. It was slow going. But I was tackling new terrain, alive and undaunted.

This may not be the proverbial “road  less traveled,” but it has gone untraveled far too long in my life.

“I’m too busy.”

“It’s too cold.”

“My ankle hurts.”

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

The greatest challenge lies not in what is before us, but what is within us. That said, you know what was the most difficult of all?

Stopping long enough to take a picture.

My gymnasium

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