Training in Canada means training through winters. And this, my friends, means training through your body’s desire to hibernate. The long nights carry on into the morning, making it a challenge to wake up for an early practice. When the day finally does roll around, retinas everywhere demolish every bit of the thin, gray light they can get a hold of. In short, spirits can run low, lethargy can run rampant…and I want to run faster than all of it!
It’s common knowledge that exercising, especially in the company of friends, can wake you up and generate feel-good endorphins. That sounds wonderful except that is my default setting, and I’m still craving naps. So what else is there to do?
An easy answer: embrace the season. Take a nap, listen to music while building a snow fort, write a journal entry, or my personal favourite, go for a leisurely stroll…in the woods (typical solution, I know). Tracks abound in the shelter of the trees, and treading softly is made ultra easy in most snowy conditions. Just yesterday, after having not visited the woods for a few weeks (what was I thinking?!!), I happened upon a deer resting in the wet snow, eyes and ears wide and calculating, and crept by without alarming it to it’s feet. The deer aren’t always discoverable and the woods are usually pretty devoid of other animal life at this time of year, save for a cardinal or chickadee. Yet even the dormant trees and chilled river exude an exciting kind of life and vitality: the potential kind. Everything is snuggled up in the snow and content. For now.
When the plants and seeds from last season grow bored with their quiet contemplation, they return their gaze back earthward and saturate their surroundings with colour and energy. Spring pours into the forest from every faucet, and overflows into the city streets.
There is nothing wrong with hibernating, and in fact I would argue that there is much to gain. Taking the time to reflect on where we have been and how it influences who we are now helps to guide us to where we most want to be. Just as the forest life takes a moment to breathe and turn inwards before it sends forth incredible waves of beauty and vitality, so too should we turn inwards. There we can dream up ingenious inventions and stimulating strategies, and then fine tune the lens with which we focus our energy, so that our efforts pinpoint our goals with power and precision. Alignment of each thought and action with a goal undoubtedly brings us closer to it’s attainment.
If you feel like hibernating, well then happy hibernation (between exercise with friends)!!!
I think I’m on my way out of hibernation and back into the busy world. Between the marching band and Toastmasters and starting to volunteer at Hutton House my time between practices and treatments is filling up. Yet I feel more focused than ever. Watch out dreams!