The First Step

Is always the hardest one. Especially this time of year. I’m always cold but when it’s well below freezing? It takes a real mental feat to convince myself to step outside and subject myself to the kinds of temperatures that make your face go numb and hurt. That cause my feet to go numb for the first mile or 2 until the pounding on the pavement forces my body to pump blood to my toes. So cold that sometimes I can’t feel my hands for the first half hour. So cold I can feel the wind through 3 layers of fleece, drying and cooling the sweat on my chest and arms. So cold it’s hard to take a deep breath. 

But then there is the beauty of it. The still quiet of snow. The softening of my footsteps beneath me. The absence of other walkers, runners, people. And the cold itself. Hard. Sharp. Like a concrete barrier at its worst. On the cold days I feel like I am most inside myself. Enveloped in my own world of forward motion — step, step, step, step, step. And on and on. Thousands of times. The only thing I have to do is take that first step out the door.

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