Cold tolerance

January 18th

One morning over the last weekend temperature went down to minus 14C. My car started after 5 tries, but it started. Windshields were frozen on the inside and I had to wait at least 20 minutes for the car to warm up enough to melt the ice on the inside. And then after I started driving I noticed several curious sights. Some people were walking their dogs, huddled in their parkas, stepping from foot to foot while the dogs went about their business, visibly shivering and uncomfortable — that was normal.

What wasn’t normal was the sight of joggers running on the pathways along the street. And bikers on their bikes biking on bicycle paths. In minus 14C weather. There weren’t many of them, less than usual but still they were noticeable enough. Smug and happy in their enjoyment of exercise in absolutely brutal temperatures. But what I saw as I was driving on a bridge over a local river was shocking — a group of people, in speedos and bathing suits taking a dip in the said river and vigorously exercising on the small beach there. In minus 14C weather.

I don’t mind the cold weather — but only when I am well prepared. I need to have long undergarments, thermal shirts, layers, a proper hat, good gloves, and a warm jacket with a hoodie. If I know I will be outside for longer than 60 minutes, especially when out in nature outside of the city, I need to have my backpack with me — with bottled water and a thermos with hot tea and some chocolate bars. I need to have a car that is filled up, with some blankets and a bag of cat litter and jumper cables in the trunk.

Only when I am covered top to bottom with only my eyes showing then I can enjoy being out in that kind of cold. On the other hand — I don’t know if I could and might enjoy physical exercise in the brutal cold because I never tried it. I simply always assumed that I wouldn’t. So I never tried it. Only admiring those who did. And being a little jealous of them. Ok, a LOT jealous. What would happen if I did try it? If I wouldn’t like it I can simply turn around and go back home. With a new experience and knowledge and not just assumptions.

So, I will try it this weekend. Will keep you updated.

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