Between a rock and a (cold) hard place.

For anyone who knows me, there is no question that I am a complete summer girl. I like the constant warmth of the sun, how everything tastes better on the grill, and the nights where the sky doesn’t get dark until 9pm. For someone who usually can’t sit still for 5 minutes it’s amazing how many hours I can spend curled up in my beach chair with a good book.

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My happy place.

When I can no longer arrange my weekends around beach trips I give into fall. I trade my sundresses and flip flops for boots and scarves, I fall into the “pumpkin everything” cult, I apple pick, I leaf peep. I’ll admit that living in New England at this time of year is gorgeous and scenic- and that running through crunchy leaves feels a lot better than through a swamp of humidity.

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Why does ANYTHING with the word pumpkin in the title automatically taste delicious?

But as quickly as the leaves turned shades of yellow and orange they seem to be swept up in bags and suddenly everything is bare and gray. It’s cold. And always dark. (Seasonal depression much?) And the reality sets in that it’s going to be a long, cold winter before I get to see my beach chair again.

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I’ll admit that it’s pretty…for now.

This is the time of the year that for me (And I’ll say probably a large majority of New Englander’s) it’s hard to get up for a morning run in the pitch dark. It’s hard to want to change into my bathing suit and head to the pool after a long day when I could just cuddle up on the couch with a blanket. It’s hard to say no to warm comfort foods like pumpkin desserts and gooey mac and cheese (My absolute weakness in life). Thinking of all the layers I have to put on just to go for a run is absolutely exhausting.

I’ve been thinking back to last winter- how did I stay so motivated? What made me keep going through all those cold, miserable months? How did I run and workout day in and day out? And suddenly, this girl pops into my head:

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I think of how hard it was to be this girl. I think about how hard it was to feel comfortable in her skin, in her clothes. I think about how hard it was for her to run up the stairs. Β How hard it was to want to go clothes shopping when nothing looked or felt right. How hard it was to see herself in pictures, a visual reminder of what she was trying to avoid. And then I think of this girl:

photoThe girl who cried in the middle of a fitting room last week because the jeans she had just put on were a size she hadn’t seen since high school. How seeing your hard work pay off in such a physical way that it leaves you with no words,only tears of happiness. Β The hard work that didn’t just happen on warm, picture perfect days. Β It happened in the cold, in the snow, and in the rain. It happened in the dark hours of the early morning. It didn’t take a break for the holidays. It was all day, every day – and it was worth every second of it.

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There’s beauty to be found even in frigid runs.

Suddenly getting up in the dark isn’t so bad – there’s nothing like thinking you’re the first person to see a spectacular sunrise in mid run. And once you get home from a good pool workout there’s no better feeling than jumping in the hot shower and throwing on your favorite sweatpants. And all those delicious pumpkin-y baked goods are amazing- in moderation. My motivation is so clear: to keep around the girl whose crying over her skinny jeans, and keep away the girl whose crying over how she looks in pictures. And to that I say: bring on the cold, and bring on the dark (but please- hold off on the snow!) πŸ™‚

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on October 23, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. For me, the snow is why I put up with the cold! Contrary to popular belief, “but you’ve lived here your whole life” does not always equal be tolerant of the cold, in my case it equals being TIRED of the cold…I hate the cold.but snow! Snow is so magical! Running when there’s a light snow falling is pretty magical, too, which I never in a million years thought I would say but learned last winter. Basically: if it’s getting cold, I want snow to come soon and come often.*

    I could DEFINITELY do without the dark though…that’s the hardest part for me! I totally need one of those sun lamps. And possibly to change up my schedule so that I run during lunch on the days when I work from home, when the sun is shining.

    *Says the lady who doesn’t own a car and lives in an apartment where the landlord is responsible for snow removal: we never have to shovel and/or dig out a car and we can easily avoid driving in the snow.

    • You’re too funny! I like running through a few fluffy flakes, but when my usual routes become an obstacle course I just get way too annoyed and want it all to melt away!

  2. Great blog! I love how you have completely changed your life.

    Out here in the desert southwest, it doesn’t get quite that cold, but I do sometimes have to go for a run when it’s in the high twenties. The summer is what we really have to endure…

    I am going to have to go to New England some day in the fall. The cactus doesn’t change colors like that πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Michelle! Sometimes I can’t believe how much my life has changed, and sometimes its hard to remember what life was like before.

      I strongly suggest choosing an early fall race to do out here- it really is breathtaking…. before everything gets bare & ugly πŸ™‚

  3. Your photos are a good compliment to your comments, which always are enjoyable. I’m dreading the cold, too, but it’s been an awesome summer weather-wise, so I’ll buck up and enjoy the beauty of the snow. I just don’t like you having to run in the dark!!!
    And, you’re right,
    New England is the most beautiful part of the country with its change of season.

  4. I love this post! I’m happy for you, and I think a lot of people (me included) will be motivated by your words. I love everything pumpkin and pretty much everything about this time of year!

    • Thank you! I think every now and then I need a little reminder of where I’ve come from to keep me going. And if that helps motivate someone else- well that’s just fantastic πŸ™‚

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