about bliss

Monday, November 11, 2013


fleecy blankets
wool socks
hoods and hats
layers and layers
mugs of tea
and central heat:
shelter. safety. warmth.

This morning I checked the temperature—28 degrees—and looked at the snow flakes swirling outside. I layered on two pairs of pants, wool socks and tennis shoes, tank, long sleeve tee, sweatshirt, and light down coat. I pulled on a hat and gloves, and wrapped a scarf around my neck. I plugged into my favorite Monday podcast, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and walked down the leaf and snow strewn sidewalks.

The wind persisted, but after 10 minutes I was mostly all warm, as usual. As I walked along Lake Michigan, the wind swept off of the water, and my upper thighs and butt were chilled. Against my better judgment, I didn't turn around, but kept walking to the 1.5 mile marker. I turned around to head home, looking for a respite from the wind biting my legs. If anything, the wind was stronger, colder. The cold stayed contained to my upper legs and butt, but it didn't dissipate. I interspersed running with walking. I wondered who I could call to come pick me up, but everyone I know was at work, out of town, or in class. Just one mile to go.

I'm always happy to reach home after a walk on a cold day, but today I was beyond relieved. Home, to strip off my layers on my upper body, where I had been toasty warm. Home, to put on more layers on my cold lower body. To warm up. The unprecedented lingering cold in my legs and butt worried me, so I took my body temperature and turned to the Mayo clinic website to make sure I wasn't in trouble.

My body temp was 95.8 when I first took it. I've never seen it that low. I wrapped myself in another blanket and brewed tea. My temperature climbed .4 degrees with each successive read in the next 15 minutes, so I knew I would be okay, but I was mad at my stupidity. My legs were still cold. I drank tea, ate a pumpkin bar to fuel my inner fire. I waited until my legs felt less chilled to shower under warm water.

My muscles are sore and I'm much sleepier than on a usual Monday, which I chalk up to my exertion and my recovery.

Oh, and that 28 degrees? I neglected (like the rookie I'm not) to check the windchill: 16 degrees.

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