Tuesday, November 18, 2014

GEARING UP...AND...LOVING IT!

The sun was devoid of thermal energy today. The November 18 temperature reading was 21 degrees, and the 'real feel' hovered around 9 degrees. Trash can lids flew about resembling UFOs.

It was brutal out there.

Preparations were tedious. Body parts needed to be covered, petroleum jelly was slathered on the cheeks. It took a while to gear up, and...I loved it!

Don't get me wrong. I like cold weather about as much as I like a colonoscopy, but, as the late-January temperatures tested us today, I thought of my friend, Mike Dicello.

Mike, 52, has been an avid runner and competitor for over 25 years. Like all of us battle-scarred running veterans, he has suffered injuries, and has gone on to overcome then.

During last year's brutal winter, in my town, where the streets are riddled with potholes resembling the lunar surface, he stepped into one of the craters during a training run, and tumbled to the ground, injuring his hip. Possessing a runner's high tolerance for pain, he attempted to "run through it," until the pain became unbearable.

He finally broke down and visited an orthopedic specialist, and the initial diagnosis was bleak: he may need a hip replacement.

Although the diagnosis was modified and surgery was not immediately needed, running was out of the question, and still is.

Stunned, disappointed, yet undaunted, Mike rides an exercise bike two hours a day now, in order to maintain cardiovascular fitness.

So, amid today's polar conditions I thought about Mike. I also thought about Troy Leatherbury, founder of  Running for the Health of It, a Facebook group that boasts over 1,100 members. Troy recently underwent surgery for a torn achilles tendon.

Both of these men, who place a high value on fitness, would have been out there on the road today, conquering the elements.

 Injuries, not laziness, complacency or icebox temperatures, prevented them from doing
so.

Take that extra time to gear up. Stop the whining, get out there and do what you love to do, no matter what the conditions may be, because it can be taken away from you by the snap of a bone or by the tear of a tendon.