I decided to brave the cold this morning and get on my Trikke. It wasn’t terribly cold — low 40s. I know that’s nothing to a lot of readers, but it’s a bracing portal from the warmth of the house and a cup of coffee. I’ve run in early morning temperatures in the 30s, so it’s not like I think all outdoor activity stops when the thermometer dips below 60, but I have to want to experience the reward of hanging in there until I’ve worked up a good body heat. While I’m sure some of you cheerfully step up to begin your ride when temps are very low, I simply won’t. There comes a point where it’s painful for any exposed skin, particularly on my face, and I find myself interrupting my ride again and again to blow my nose. It becomes more work than fun, more endurance than relaxation.
Today, however, was lovely. It was pretty darn wonderful, to be honest. I haven’t ridden in several weeks, so I moved more methodically compared to the devil-may-care zipping about of the summer. I took inclines as though they were staircases, thinking, “Step, step , step, step, step “ with each pump as I turned back and forth. A few times I had to jump off and walk a bit, but I wasn’t hard on myself today about not persevering. I wanted to treasure the reduced pace after a week of multitasking, rushing through conversations, and addressing crises. In my ears was music that reminds me of who I am. I let the rhythm help me, and I was warming.
Twice, I passed a man and his two young daughters running, their cheeks red and breath visible in puffs. They looked they were enjoying it, and I felt happy as I watched them jog by. A woman bundled up as though she might be ready to join a dog sled race in Alaska greeted me with a wave. A group of county water line workers digging by an office complex called out, “Excuse me—what is that called?” I stopped to chat with them and made them laugh about my struggle getting up hills.
I felt I was moving slowly, the chill and the quiet pulling time out. Fewer cars passed than was common on summer weekend mornings. Even when errands must be done and we know they will fill the day, it’s harder for some of us to get motivated when there’s frost on the car. There are times we just don’t want to wake up so fast.
My highlight, as always, was the ride past the golf course. I love this beautifully landscaped acreage. It was built in 1924 and expanded in the 1930s, so it doesn’t have the “new development” stamp on it. It looks like an old, well-tended estate, and the land was indeed once part of the holdings of this state’s premier family, the duPonts. The trees are enormous, now bare and making dark jabs into the frosty sky. No one golfs this time of year, so I had the view to myself. I won’t say I felt at one with the universe, because I accept the distinction between Creator and creation, but I will say I felt pretty darned blessed.
I hear tomorrow’s going to be warmer. I believe I’ll make a point of forcing myself out before boiling water for the French press. Coming back to a cup of coffee and the satisfaction of accomplishment will be really nice. I plan to have a perfect Sunday.