Bear with me if you dare... lots of random thoughts coming together to try and make sense!
Over the past two weeks I have spent some spare "thinking time" pondering my aversion with the outdoors. Now, it's not everything outdoors. During the day I love to be outside. This summer I would do everything in my power to plan an activity that was outdoors with the kids if weather allowed. I love the sun!
I also love to hike... but day hikes only. I love participating in water sports, going to the beach, and I have fond memories of sitting around campfires in the evening with a marshmallow on a hanger and some graham crackers nearby :) There's nothing quite like sitting quietly watching a campfire crackle and burn to make you really reflect on your life and how blessed you are!
BUT, my aversion with the outdoors covers THREE main areas:
(literally - if you would like to torture me, just put me in one of these situations!)
1. Cold temperatures... I used to really like skiing, but that was when I was younger and had no sense of the unpleasantness of numbness or a frostbitten face. Oh - and sitting on a LONG chair ride up to the mtn with your fingers and toes freezing. TORTURE!
2. Spending the night outdoors without the comfort of a comfy mattress, clean bathroom and four walls. (all MUST be included)
3. Running outside. Yep - I love to exercise... but HATE to run outdoors. Give me a treadmill and a TV with the news on any day! I only run outside a couple times a year and it's a momentous occasion. My annual or traditional outdoor run is on Christmas. I've done it the past few years and have truly LOVED each run! The streets are quiet, the air is crisp, and the conditions have been just right! The other times during the year when I run outside when there is ABSOLUTELY no chance of me getting to the gym.
That was today... hence the post. I had the kids all day/night today so no gym for me! But, this afternoon the stars in heaven aligned for me and I was able to run three miles... around the same short four blocks because I couldn't leave the kids unsupervised! Every time I passed the house I would run to check in and make sure all was well :) Silly, probably, but I felt SO good after my run!
As I ran, I thought. Why don't I do this more often? Here's what I decided:
1. I bore myself. I don't have enough cool things to talk about with myself to keep my thoughts away from any body aches or sores
2. I HATE not knowing how far I've gone. I LOVE seeing the treadmill show me!
3. The weather conditions need to be PERFECT for me to go. Yesterday, a run in the humid, hot air would haven't even crossed my mind no matter how much I would have wanted to go! Today it was just the right temp, with a slight breeze and a little cloudy so the sun wasn't beating me down!
4. Knowing that tomorrow I can go to the gym if I would like :)
Now as for camping. I AM SUCH A CHICKEN... but I am definitely OK with that! Last weekend was my ward campout. I went up on Friday evening and proceeded to return a few hours later to the comforts of home. Saturday I went up again, this time with stuff in hand to spend the night. I convinced myself during the day that I could hack it for one night. Maybe it wouldn't be the most pleasant thing I've ever done, but these types of things build character, right?
Well, come eight o'clock... sun was down... everything was dark... the temps turned cold (very cold in my opinion... but others would differ)... doubt crept in. Fear, almost! I kept thinking WHY would I choose to torture myself if there was another option, but then I really did try to do some positive thinking. I KNOW that can have a HUGE effect on our attitudes and actions. BUT, by ten pm I had let the doubt get the best of me, convinced myself that I didn't care if others thought I was a complete wimp, and jubilantly agreed to a ride home when it was offered.
As I went to bed that evening, I had no regrets! I was a much happier person and I know I can challenge myself in other ways!
There's not much I can do about cold temps besides making sure I have top-notch gear... and moving to a warmer climate (which I did!!!) so hopefully this winter will be better :)
Did I solve anything by writing this post? No, I have not overcome my aversion to the OUTDOORS as mentioned above... if anything I have justified my intense dislike even more :)
So, it's back to the gym tomorrow for me... but grateful for the running experience I had today. And, I look forward to my next run outside... which will hopefully not be until Christmas!