I hate the cold. I despise it. My body despises it. As a measure of precaution, I live in the South, where we list our wintry sixty degree days as a perk. So this morning, when I checked the weather to find it felt like a balmy 20 degrees out, I went to work from the comfort of my down comforter.
As the hours passed and the guilt rose, I got up the courage to head to the closet and pick out as many layers as possible, determined to keep my word to myself to lace up for five miles.
At the back of my closet, I stumbled upon the Better Sweater. A few winters ago, I saved up to buy this cozy little vest. While its name should ring full of blissful adventures, over the years it has become my last ditch resort for keeping warm on a chilly morning run. I zipped it up, put my hands in its fuzzy pockets and found a single stick of chapstick.
As a kid, I would hide little trinkets in the pockets of my winter coats. Barbie shoes, a dollar, a 25¢ ring, it didn’t matter the value, but more the reminder. It was as if some brilliant figure from the past had sent treasures into the future to say “I don’t care how miserable it is out there, look at these awesome things we used to have!” Those Barbie shoes had been gone a year, so naturally this was a sign of something good to come. The treasures were my way of reminding myself that it wasn’t going to be all doom and gloom for the next four months.
In this scenario chapstick is grown up treasure, until it isn’t. Chapstick means I probably I went for a run, my nose tried to fall off and I couldn’t feel my face for three days. This is what we have to look forward to, Better Sweater, Chapstick and I, no noses and sore faces.
I begrudgingly laced up my shoes, zipped up the Better Sweater, took one last deep breath and zipped out the door.
I’m home now, five miles faster, and while my nose did try to fall off, the Chapstick was a true treasure. It’s a reminder that when you get your butt out the door, the miles aren’t nearly as bad as you make them out to be. As an extra perk, Chapstick does soothe red lips and sore noses miraculously fast, and I don’t know how it does it.
Next time your brain tries to trick you into thinking treasures are for suckers, remember someone in your past put them there for a reason. Oh and Spring, you can come any time now.