“Embrace The Cold” has become my theme for winter. We all knew that these cold temperatures, the minus-something-stupid numbers that we have, were projected weeks, maybe even months, ago. For those who are enthusiastic about skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and any other winter sport, the past few weeks have been perfect. For me, the warm weather lover, it hasn’t been so great. But it is obvious that Old Man Winter is not leaving anytime soon so I am trying not to complain; I am learning to #embracethecold.
So, like an idiot, I decided that this is the year for my 12 year old to learn to snowboard. Over the past few years, we have gone to Glen Eden fewer times than I can count on one hand, mostly due to our being spoiled with the warmer winters that runners love but snowboarders hate. The dude loves being on the slopes and he is good at it, probably from spending hours and hours on his skateboard or scooter during the non-winter months. My mommy senses tell me that he is going to want to spend time on the slopes in his teen years, and I would much rather have him learn when he is younger than take the chance that he’ll head to the hills, try to figure things out on his own and end up injured later. Our goal is to get him out twice a week, more during a break or long weekend. Lucky me, I get to stand around, watch and embrace the cold while he plays outdoors with a snowboard.
On Friday, when we were coming back from Glen Eden, I asked the dude how he felt he was progressing. “Good,” he replied. “Mom, if you want to get good at something, you have to be thinking about it all the time. I’m doing that. When I am not there, I am going over things in my head again and again.”
That made perfect sense to me. As a runner, I am always thinking about the run. I plan my day around when I am going to run and I involve my family in my weekly plans so that it is a part of our week, not just mine. Running is in my morning, afternoon and evening, in what I eat and drink, and how I sleep. It is in my closet and on my nighttable. For me, running is everywhere. Whether or not my shoes are laced up, running is always on my mind.
I was a bit surprised by the insight that my twelve year old had. “To get good at something, you have to be thinking about it all the time.” He has a passion and dedication for snowboarding that I haven’t seen in anything else that he does. He has had to sit in the snow and struggle with his bindings again and again until he could do it on his own, and he falls down and gets right back up – only to do it again. I know that his winter on the slopes is what my running is to me. And I know that if he wants to be successful, he does have to go back again and again.
This morning, I headed outdoors for my morning run under cold but sunny skies. Tonight, even though I am heading back to Glen Eden to stand around in the snow and watch him in the minus-something-stupid, I can embrace the cold. After all, if this is teaching my kid commitment and tenacity while keeping him active, Old Man Winter can’t be all that bad.