Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I blame the patriarchy

Many of the running blogs I read have recently written lovely posts about running in the snow. They post photos of the picturesque landscapes. So serene. So white. So fluffy. “Yay snow!” they say. “Isn’t it just the peachiest keen?”

No. It is neither peachy, nor keen.

Look, I grew up in New York. I’m not going to claim snow cred along the lines of some Minnesotan or Wisconsin-ite? (-er? Wisconsonian? Help me out here), but I know snow. I’ve done the sacred “Please snow, snow hard, but not before about 4 am, because otherwise they will have time to plow it and then we will still have to go to school” dance. I have frolicked in snow, and I have loved it.

And I’m not afraid to run in weather. I started running last winter, for no good reason, I might add, and I liked it. I even enjoy running in the rain. It reminds me of summer camp, where we’d run around through the mud in the late summer downpours, barefoot, because that’s just the way we rolled. I actually have this whole philosophy about rain, and about how it only sucks because you’re trying not to get wet, because that’s what the man demands. But it’s wrong. Because you WILL get wet. And you will not melt. So embrace the wet. Get drenched and love it. Damn the man!

So I tried to channel the snow-love for my run on Tuesday morning. But I just wasn’t feeling it. I even contemplated running on a treadmill instead.

The problem, really, is not the snow. It’s the ice. I know more than one former running addict (okay, two. I know two such people) who have blithely gone for a winter run, only to slip on ice and injure themselves terribly. And they never ran again! Or, well, one of them is starting to run again. But it’s been more than a year. And he had to have surgery.

I’m a klutz. I trip. I bump into things. I = not graceful. So I was nervous as I headed out for a four-mile run. I was bundled up, and not too cold, and the sidewalks had all been cleared, and many had been salted, so there wasn’t much ice. There was some, and there were moments when I could feel that my footing wasn’t sure, but I went slowly, especially downhill, and paid attention.

3.85 miles later, my apartment building was in sight, and it appeared that I had managed to avoid major mishap.

What’s the thing they say about how 99% of accidents within two blocks of when Naomi stops paying attention?

So I’m running on the block leading up to my building, the one part of my run that is the same EVERY SINGLE TIME I leave my home, a stretch of sidewalk I could navigate with my eyes closed. And then.

The sidewalk is uneven—a tree root pushed up one piece of pavement so that it jutted three inches higher than the piece next to it. This is not new. Yet I tripped over it.

All of a sudden, my arms were pinwheeling comically, my feet were scrambling to catch up with my center of gravity, and my mouth was spewing curse words (maybe).

I caught my balance (I’ve had lots of practice). I wasn’t injured. (Was that anti-climactic?) And there wasn’t any ice, either. I just tripped. Nevertheless? I never tripped there when there wasn’t snow on the ground.**


Damn the man.

** That might not be true. I trip a lot.


Blogger Scooter said...

Never, ever let down your guard! One of my fraternity brothers went for a run back in college days and managed to open his head up pretty good on a tree branch. He went to the ER for stitches and was fine, but was subject to years of teasing. Of course, if we look at it logically (I am Mr. Spock, after all.), He could have lost an eye or had other permanent injury, so he was lucky.

11:53 AM  
Blogger psbowe said...

Cool blog about the snow.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

Too funny! Sometimes a noise in songs on my ipod will scare me if I'm already in a neurotic mood and I'll jump about 10 feet and instantly look around to see how many cars saw my strange display.

I'm having such a hard time staying motivated and sticking with my plan in the dark, cold weather. I know it will be warm in Miami & right now I just tell myself that over and over again during every 20-something degree run.

6:51 PM  
Blogger David said...

Noames ... stay away from the margaritas down in Miami Beach. The crushed ice is really slippery.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I hate cold. I hate ice. I also hate running in wet clothes and wet shoes. If I could figure out how to run in the rain and not blister, I might like it more,.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Riona said...

I hear ya. I am constantly tripping and ripping teh skin off my palms, to the extent that I'm considering wrist guards / gloves.

I like the new design. Very clean.

2:42 PM  

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