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Running in Leg Warmers.

December 16, 2016

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I had planned on doing a long run today, but when I checked the weather a few days ago, I saw that it was going to be in the 20’s. That’s cold. There was a time when I would have brushed it off as being too cold, and bagged the whole running idea entirely.

Not anymore. I woke up this morning, checked the weather again, and sighed. I was going to have to run in the cold. I waited until around noon, since it was at least going to be a little warmer by then. I checked the weather one last time,  in the off chance that some freak warm front moved in out of nowhere.

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That would be no.

I dressed in my warmest running gear: a long sleeved shirt with a short sleeved shirt over top it, running tights, my favorite running jacket, a headband to cover my ears, running gloves, and….leg warmers.

I blasted the heat in the car up until the very last second. As I turned the key and shut the car off, I had one leg out the door and running, minimizing any standing still time which would lead to coldness. As I ran the first mile, everything felt ok, except for the small section of my face that was exposed. It actually hurt. I thought that this might have been a bad idea, I was probably going to get frost bite on my face, and I should go home. Well, that didn’t happen. Not only did it not happen, but after the first mile, my face stopped hurting. It was still cold though. But I kept going. There were only about two other people in the park, and it was, I must say, very peaceful. After about mile 3, I found myself enjoying the quiet and maybe even the cold. It was at that moment I thought, “last year, you would never catch me out here in anything under 45 degrees.” Another runner passed me going the opposite way. A cyclist whizzed by. Both were dressed just like me. Both were still out doing it, just like me. We are slaves to our sport. We are obsessed.

We are athletes.

Growing up, I didn’t have much athletic inclination. I sang, I did theatre, I wrote, I was good in school. I used to do my friends’ poetry assignments and they’d pay me in candy. (Sorry Mrs. Graf). One of those friends’ poems even got published in this end of the school year compilation thing. I would have ratted myself out had I not had another poem published under my own name. But that’s beside the point. The point, dear readers, is that I would never have imagined that 20 years later, I’d be a runner. And not just a casual runner – a runner who’s so into her craft that she puts on leg warmers in order to run 7 miles when it’s 20 degrees outside.

We all have unmeasurable power within us. Never ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Running in the cold might not be your thing, but the options for what IS your thing are limitless. Just because you weren’t good at it before, doesn’t mean you can’t be now. I’m 40 years old. If I had let someone tell me it’s too late, I would never be who I am or where I am today. I would never have found my leg warmers.

Find your thing, put on your leg warmers, and don’t let anything stop you.

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