Some thoughts on the Cold

The typing is warming up my fingers. Okay, it hasn’t done that yet, but I know that it will. I am frustrated by how slow I am typing, actually, but my fingers are still thawing from the cold and I am using a keyboard in the library. I left my Macbook’s charger at home. Very smart.

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With El Nino enveloping this year, we’ve been lucky with the nice days outside, but at the same time anxious. When will we lose this sunshine we know we don’t deserve? Some days it rains, other days it’s cold, but we wait anxiously for when it’s all really over and we stop expecting sunny days. It has snowed now and it seems like the winter has finally begun. Although the Midwest is upset with the weather in a way we’ve all kind of exhaled too. Finally, it has really gotten cold and snowed, and now the anxiety of waiting for when it will come has ended.

When I was backpacking in Wyoming, I was very cold. For two days straight during the monthlong trip, we had to pause hiking and hunker inside our tents instead. I remember the guilt I felt at not being able to get out of my sleeping bag, and what a bad team member I was being (even though I probably wasn’t–we were all desperate to live like cocoons inside those sleeping bags). I remember looking at my hands and feeling my bones and joints shiver in my fingers, and thinking “I will never be warm again.” The cold is terrifying.

Later on we had to continue hiking or end up losing too many days, and we hiked as a team through the saddle of one snowy mountain. The sun and the snow and the wind were all coming at us. But I was sweating then. I knew I wouldn’t die–that was not an option. I guess I could have just sat down and given up, but I had a team I didn’t want to hold back. I never really thought then about whether or not I’d ever be warm again, because there was nothing to think about but moving forward. Here in the regular world, when I walk outside and the cold bites my face, I can’t ever really forget that it’s biting my face in the way I was able to do so back then. Despite having a much more solid destination in mind when I’m walking outside now (going to class), I just can’t seem to forget how damn cold I am. These things make me want to challenge myself and walk outside in the freezing cold for no real reason. It’s a silly thing to think and I am much weaker than I ever was then, so it’s not a good idea. I think the reason behind feeling this way is that I feel frustrated that once I was able to do something so incredible, and I never retained all the strength I gained from that trip. At least it seems that way.

The snow makes me know I should stay inside but I don’t want to either. It’s boring and depressing in my apartment and I can’t really watch TV since I don’t want to waste the battery on my computer, which, as mentioned earlier, I do not have the charger for.
I’m going to try and write more during this semester. Maybe it will be my new endurance trip. 

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Picture from Flickr’s Creative Commons

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