The cold of winter is a strange thing:
Of course it is uncomfortable and not the easiest of conditions to handle.
It is also bracing and energizing; it shows our need for a balance that is not static but gives strong impulses, between challenging cold and comfortable warmth.
Winter is also the time when many people say they’ll get back to sports, into the outdoors, when it is warm and sunny again.
And others go out skiing. Many want – or already, wanted – to get into a fitness routine with a new gym membership…
I say, go.
The first thing to consider, if you are just thinking about it, is motivation. Or maybe it isn’t.
Go with Example
Trust that there are people who go out for walks, go out running, have their fun, even when it is cold and there’s a drizzle. With ice. Or sudden warmth. Maybe not in storm, but also with a bit of a strong wind.
And, of course, in snow. Snow, actually, is one of the nicest conditions to go and run in.
And if those people – like me – are having their fun in winter, probably you could, too.
We have the 24 Hours Burgenland coming up soon, end of January (again) – and 3500 people will participate, moving part or all of the way around the Neusiedler See lake, as far as they can and want to go, in whatever the conditions end up being.
Something makes us move, also in the cold.
There are two ways you yourself – or anyone – can approach that. (Like so much.)
First Possibility: Your Why
Start with Why! has become a popular suggestion; your reason is supposed to be your motivation, the thing that drives you and makes you do what you do.
It can work.
If you have something that really moves you, that makes up a big part of who you are, then your why can be powerful indeed.
Rich Roll, in his Finding Ultra, describes a wonderful example of that. His family motivated him to get healthy, get into fitness… if in a way that sometimes has to make one wonder if that is really healthy anymore.
Purpose and identity can be truly powerful – more so than the dreariness of winter weather.
Second Possibility: Forget all but the How
As powerful as what we tell ourselves about ourselves can be, it can also easily go to hell.
We give ourselves a free pass only too easily, decide that we’re still the good person we think we are, the person wanting to be fit and healthy – and allowed the rest and the slacking off.
(And only too many people seem to fall the other way, into drives towards fitness, only to overdo it there and forget about the power of rest – and let their health and even fitness suffer. That will need to be a topic, but later.)
If or when you are in situations where asking why only leads you to thinking “Why the hell should I go out now, why should I do what is uncomfortable when I’ve already had enough of that all day?“, then it may be better to forget about that.
Oftentimes, what works instead can be to just consider the How instead.
Not why would you, not why should you, not how would anyone – just “how” in the sense of “What do I need to grab and go, for the conditions we have and the time I’ll be out?”
No question whether conditions are really good enough, how long it would be best to be out, certainly no why.
Just things like the clothing – which we’ll get to next.