Today is my 30th birthday, so last night I wanted to do something special to say “Goodbye” to the 20 year old me. So I went for a 3 mile run. In the dark. In 20° weather. Some of you may shudder at the thought, but it was sublime. And I’m not talking “Santeria” sublime, I’m talking peanut butter straight out of the jar sublime.
I used to think nothing could beat running along the Santa Monica boardwalk, staring at the ocean while the warm sun beat down on my shoulders. Then I moved back to the Midwest. Last night, the air was crisp and smog-free in my lungs. The scent of pine and burnt leaves hung in the air where homeless man b.o. and urine used to reside. And it was quiet. I went iPodless because I knew that this quiet only shows up a few months out of the year. Living in LA, I could never find this quiet. Amidst the car horns, mariachi music and leased BMW keyless entry remotes, there was never silence. There is a stillness that you can only find during Winter in places that snow falls. I love this sound – if I could bottle it up and sell it on iTunes, I would. And you’d buy it.
Yes, it was cold but I didn’t mind a bit. The air was icy in my lungs and my muscles felt stiff but as soon as my body warmed up, which only took about 1/4 mile, it felt like any other run. I have gotten my gear down to a science, where I feel warm (but not too warm) and cool (but not too cool) at the same time. I am sure the formula is different for everyone, considering I passed a guy wearing shortie shorts, a tank top* and gloves. Brrr! It’s best to wear really breathable clothes that have Dri-Fit technology so body heat stays in and sweat stays out. I always wear a warm hoodie or fleece on top that I take off and tie around my waist if I get too overheated, but I didn’t really need it. And the lightweight cotton gloves are easy to tuck in a waistband if your hands need to cool down. Covering your ears, again with something cotton or Dri-Fit, keeps the cold wind out.
So layer up, lace up and say “Peace Out, Homie!” to the Twenties. Or Tens. Or Below Zeroes. Or if you are lucky, the Sixty-Fives. But look out for the grocery cart condo and roller skatin’ boom box guy on the boardwalk.
*Sidebar: No man should ever wear a tank top. Unless that man is Alexander Skarsgard, which of whom is pardoned. (Thanks GQ, for this fabulous photo shoot). Or if you are an old-timey boxer. Cause those guys are just hilarious.