Monday, December 22, 2008

Yes, Madison is Freezing....

I thought there was some irony when someone in Cleveland, Ohio asked me why I was moving to Madison, Wisconsin because Wisconsin has "bad winters." I said to them, "Why do you live in Cleveland, Ohio? Cleveland has bad winters, too. Did you know that? How will it be any different?" One reason I moved to Madison is because of the lifestyle here.

So, I saw on the weather website that this weekend was going to be in the zeros at times. And the funny thing is that I spent as much time outside as I would have, had it been a spring day - which means a lot.

As a runner, I do a lot of indoor, treadmill running, in the winter. There are two reasons for this. Mainly, because the footing is bad enough that it is easy to slip and fall. The other reason is because my right knee gets much more irritated in the cold weather. In Madison, running indoors is a big "no no." It really isn't the same. There is something artificial and very stagnant about running on a machine, even though I do get a very good workout.

Saturday morning, I woke up, and walked my dog around the block. Her usual morning walk. The snow was beautiful and serene. I knew I was walking to the indoor farmer's market in an hour or so, and I was really looking forward to the short walk. The thought of running on a treadmill was killing me, so I decided to bite the bullet and run in the light snowfall, literally in between two snowstorms - a 10.5 inch dumping that had just fallen, and pre-the evening to the next day snowfall.

After walking to the indoor market, and grabbing a bite off the square, I got to check out yet another of many parks in Madison: Picnic Point. This peninsula is great for hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and birding. While I was there, the next snowstorm started brewing. I was told it was a whiteout, which I was unaware of, when you don't know what the scenery usually is. I loved this park. Besides it being another tranquil and relaxing park for me to frequent, it is in the city of Madison, and is probably two miles from my house. An owl propped on the top of a tree was spotted by my fellow hiking pal.

Yesterday morning, the plan was to go back to Picnic Point. Knowing it was going to be rather freezing, I happened to notice that with the windchill, the temperature was going to feel like negative twenty-seven. Being used to outdoor winter sports, I bundled up and took Scouter there. After about an hour, I was still completely comfortable, and I had a tired dog.

Yesterday was ridiculously cold. I am not going to lie. With the winds, at times, it felt slightly painful. There is something about the winter that to me, is peaceful and calming. It also makes me appreciate the changing of the seasons.

Might I add that there were plenty of other Madison locals taking advantage of the beautiful winter weather, which is the lifestyle I was desiring. If you make fun out of what nature gives you, you can enjoy it.

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