So, if you live in the upper Midwest or the North East (seriously, if you live there, you have my eternal respect), and you’re running, you’re dressing a bit differently than you did a few months ago. What was once a quick process of shirt, shorts, and shoes has become a literal laundry list of options: Wool socks? Leggings? Sweats over that? Long sleeves? Sweat shirt? Jacket? Mittens? Gloves? Scarf? Hat? Yaktrax?
It all gets really crazy. We start looking at the weather the night before, trying to figure out what it will feel like. When it’s so cold, you have to make sure the wind chill is taken into consideration. You also have to figure out how slippery it’s going to be, the air temp, whether to run on the street or side walks, and a host of other things. When all is said and done, it’s really easy to look like this when you finally get dressed:
If you’ve done anything like this, you are not alone. I sometimes leave feeling like the Michelin Man. I would say that’s fairly common, but it’s not very practical. Often, by time I’m a mile in, I’m removing layers and sweating like a crazy person, as I unzip my coat halfway, take off my hat, and wish I had someway to take off my sweats and stow them somewhere without inducing hypothermia from the sweating I have previously done to get me to that point. Usually, I’m forced to just wait it out, too warm and uncomfortable.
I think this often happens in our everyday lives, though. Instead of dressing for the elements, we over dress. We pack too much for traveling. We put too much pressure or expectations on the holidays. We bring too much baggage into our relationships. We bring too much shame and guilt with us almost everywhere. And it leaves us feeling stifled and uncomfortable in out own skin. It makes us feel less than adequate and less than lovable. It makes us carry more than we should have to carry.
So, take off some of those layers, even for a little bit this week, and be thankful that you have that option.
Have a happy (and warm) Thanksgiving!