Taking the ice by the horns

Depressing fact number one: there has been snow on the ground – continuously – since mid-November. That’s nearly sixty days of looking outside and seeing white. Depressing fact number two: it’s been seriously cold for a week. That’s seven days of doing everything I can to avoid going outside; looking at the temperature gauge in the car and watching it say ‘minus’ something or other. Fahrenheit.

So today, after talking to my mom on the phone and hearing about her revamped eating and exercise habits, I resigned myself to the fact that I had to step it up. [My mom also has more Facebook friends than I do, but short of accosting strangers and begging them to become my ‘friends’, there’s not a much I can do about that.]

Bottom line: my jeans weren’t going to fit better if I continued my New Year’s approach of staying  indoors whilst eating buckeyes. Which is what I did….yesterday.

So I decided to suck it up and venture outside. Long underwear. Jeans. Fleece jacket. Regular jacket. Gloves. Boots. Hat. Scarf. Twenty minutes later, I was as ready as I’d ever be to face the frozen tundra. I stepped outside. ‘Not too bad,’ I thought to myself, ‘not too bad at all.’

And, two seconds later, my behind was numb. And my face was burning with cold. ‘It’s because I’m walking against the wind,’ I tried to reassure my unhappy self. ‘I need to change directions.’ So I headed west. I was still cold. That’s because it was minus eight degrees outside. (That’s -22 in Canadian-speak.)

‘I just need to make it ten minutes,’ I tried to exhort myself, whilst wrapping my scarf around my face and pulling my hat down to my eyes.  I could see about two feet in front of me….and that was it. Good thing Calgary is semi-militant about people shoveling their sidewalks. Unlike, ahem, Indiana. Where they’re doing all they can to keep people on the couch. When I was visiting my niece before Christmas, I made plans to meet a friend at a nearby coffee shop. I’d intended to walk, since it was close and the weather was decent. But it had snowed recently and, since no one shovels their sidewalks, I was advised to drive: ‘it’s not safe – you’ll have to walk in the street’.

After fifteen minutes of arctic exposure, I headed home. Surely exercise counts more when it’s performed in adverse weather conditions? Unfortunately I’d eaten all the buckeyes the previous day. I’d have to reward myself with a cup of warm…apple juice.

Yahoo as Caillou would say.

8 thoughts on “Taking the ice by the horns

  1. I heard a theory once that extreme cold causes your body to hold on to an extra layer of fat, whales do it – blubber keeps them warm. This is why Canadians are chubbier, they need the extra fat to keep warm.

  2. Kim, what’s a union suit?? Roberta – I’m working hard on adding a second layer of blubber. For extra insulation. Ma, we’re supposed to get a ‘heat wave’ tomorrow. Otherwise I might try that mall walking thing.

    1. Jenny – just the other day I ‘decided’ that cross country skiing is going to become our ‘family’ activity for the winter months. And then I remembered I didn’t really like it.


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