The week after the Christmas holiday, I was back on the Dreadmill in the Not So Stankment, pounding out daily 3-mile lumbers and intervals. After what seemed like months of being ill in one form or another, it felt great to get my heart rate up and to sweat again without a 101˚ fever.
So, after 21+ miles of lumbering nowhere slow, I was stoked to get back on the magic Zwift machine last Monday and get my legs back to doing what they do best. Or at least do better than running.
Then Monday actually came.
I got all my gear ready, the Apple TV moved to the basement, set up my ride on Zwift, stuffed my beer belly and aged scrotal-looking white man ass into my kit, and climbed on the bike. I then proceeded to pedal for roughly 7 minutes before I literally said out loud, “This is the dumbest fucking thing ever!” I then climbed off the bike, put all the shit away, and didn’t do another physical activity in the name of fitness until I went out for my first snowshoe of the winter on Friday.
The days between Monday’s failed trainer ride and Friday’s solo snowshoe were filled with all my normal anxieties and depression about my age, weight, inadequate education, outdated work experience, lack of purpose, the “man skills” to find a non-retail job in rural Michigan, our fucked up COVID world, a dog in his dimming twilight years, and the realities of becoming an empty nester in the months ahead. Every day is truly a fucking blessing.
But hey, it wasn’t all sad naps and ruing my existence from the solace of my comfy chair; there were some meaningful talks with Wifey about the future, a meeting with the O.G. Mindbender, some job searching, a rare resume sent out, some good beers enjoyed, and lots of footy watched as the snow fell over the dark, flat as fuck, frozen mid-Michigan landscape.
Finally, on Friday, I started to feel more myself and headed out with my camera for my first snowshoe of the year at Meridian Park.
I only stomped around for a couple miles, but the rare winter sunshine and blue skies were a welcome sight, and the crisp breeze was invigorating.
The mixture of macro and nature photos from Friday weren’t all that good due to the high mid-day sun (and my poor skills at shooting in it!), but the walk was inspiring in its own way, and I was happy when Wifey asked if I wanted to go again on Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon, Wifey and I headed to the Hall’s Lake Natural Area and snowshoed a hair under 3 miles. The woods were beautiful, the company treasured, and both of us appreciated the time together out in the fresh air and sunshine.
Sometimes the short daylight hours, schedules, and unpredictable climate-changed mid-Michigan winter weather can make outdoor activities difficult to squeeze in. Still, every time I do, it only proves that there is nothing better. The Friday/Saturday one-two punch is just what I needed to help me with my ongoing funk.