During a week of intense uncertainty and worry, the running routine has become an effort to keep emotions in check and preserve some aspect of normal.
I’ve been unexpectedly grateful for the cold snap in our area. Cold has scattered people to indoor havens, leaving a more conducive environment for rumination. The few people left outside concentrate on their own matters, allowing my feelings to roam in open air.
My running pace surges, heaves, and pauses in time with my thoughts, but only to a certain point. Too much shoegazing and the unsentimental cold scrapes my cheeks, or teams up with the wind to deliver an ice cream headache and yank on my ears. I get the message and pad off in search of the run cocoon.
The run cocoon is a blanket of shelter that I weave for myself with the continued movement of my limbs. My arms swing lightly as my feet rock back and forth. I bend my body into the headwind. Gradually, the ache in my forehead fades, hands grow warm under my wool mittens, and the head heats from the inside out.
My steady though inelegant gait wraps me in the run cocoon. Feet step along and emotions flow out. The coziness of my self-generated run cocoon contrasts against the frigid air and my worries and fears momentarily lessen.
Some people dislike the cold weather and retreat inside, but if they just ran around a bit they might find their own run cocoon and like it. I do. The cold reminds me it’s good to keep moving forward, even during less-than-ideal times.