A sliver of my belly stung during this morning’s run. When I left the house at 7:15am, our thermometer read 1 degree and by my return it had climbed to 5. But the gusting winds erased the difference, sending the chill below zero as has happened so many days this season. Still, it was great to be in the fresh air, even if it did tickle my nose with snotcicles.
Between a few key pieces of gear and overall hardiness (developed through experience, not character), I can manage pretty much anything Chicago dishes out.*
However, desire does not always match ability; I have spent too much time inside lately, cozied in slippers and a treasured wool shawl from Ecuador which conveniently hides my expanding belly.
My rarely used cold weather warrior leggings date back nearly 15 years. Alas, that also dates them to at least 15 pounds ago. As I trotted along this morning, the bottom of my top and the top of my bottoms could not adequately protect my muffin top. My belly wasn’t exposed directly to the air. It was just perched over my leggings under my shirt. But the wind breached the tenuous barrier and scraped at my paunch with mocking persistence. Fair punishment for recent indolent ways.
It reminded me of another sliver of burn from the opposite side of the year and body. A blazing hot mid-summer day, when you lean over your handlebars, and make your own breeze, and your shirt
slides up your back just a bit, and you regret forgetting to sun screen that spot. But I much prefer the red burn of summer to the red slap of winter.
*Actually, like Stringer Bell from The Wire, I can’t handle 40 degree days, especially when it is raining. (Following clip is one of my faves, but NSFW or children.)