Learning to love winter thanks to some great role models

I’ll be the first to say that as a dedicated runner who likes to train to compete at my best, the winter months have not typically been my favourite. Everything from tempo runs to long runs to intervals are just that much more difficult and uncomfortable when you’re struggling with icy footing, multiple layers of clothing, frostbitten skin that you forgot to cover and numb fingers which can’t press the buttons on your watch. However, I realize, it being only December, that we’re in for a fairly long winter, and if I don’t learn to love the snow and ice I’m destined for some frustrating months ahead. So I’ve decided to re-frame my attitude. Instead of pining for warm summer days or wishing I lived in California, I am going to enjoy this – even if it kills me! To start, I am taking a lesson from my family members.

My husband’s sport is water based. Here is a shot of him in his ideal conditions:

Hawaiian ocean in the summer

Hawaiian Ocean in the summer

This is what his playground looks like these days:

Lake Ontario in December

Lake Ontario in December

But he doesn’t complain. He goes out and enjoys his sport.

Getting in and out can be a bit tricky, but after that it's a breeze!

getting in and out are the tricky parts

Then there are my kids. To them, winter is “the most fun season of the year” (that is actually a direct quote from my 6 year-old yesterday).

Walking to school is never boring. There is always a new adventure in scaling various snowbanks.

walking to school via snowbanks instead of shoveled sidewalks

walking to school via snowbanks instead of shoveled sidewalks

And now their weekends are spent doing this:

skating outdoors

skating outdoors

And this:

tobogganning!

tobogganning!

Obviously my family members have no problem getting out and enjoying themselves in this weather, so I am determined to have as much fun as anyone. It’s all about how you look at it.

So this will be my playground for the next few months, and I will appreciate the beauty and stillness, I won’t worry about my pace or times, and I’ll reap the benefits of stronger legs for bounding through snow.

My snowy running trail

My snowy running trail

Here’s to playing outside this winter!

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