Saturday, December 13, 2008

on temperature

I have a very narrow comfort range, say from about 68 to 78 degrees. this is where I am happiest, and sometimes 68 is a little chilly and 78 is a little too warm. inside, I mean.
outside is another thing. there I can expand my range from say, 52 to about 84.
I am laughing, because these numbers are ridiculous, given that I live in a high desert that consistently receives oodles of the greatest snow on earth. and given that I like to ride my bike as daily as possible.
the lesson to be learned from this is that I spend a lot of time pushing well beyond my comfort limits.
take last night, for example. bill's daughter is a ski jumper, an amazingly talented, gifted, and driven young woman of a mere 14 years. she is already on the US ski team, and was participating in a competition yesterday with jumpers from around the world. I went to watch the event, my first experience of watching ski jumping live and in person.
do I need to say these events take place outdoors?
probably not.
it was one of those perfect winter evenings: just a few clouds in the sky, the air so sharp and clear you feel it must be purifying your body each time you inhale, a full moon---the largest in 50 years I am told---hanging low in the eastern sky, and snow underfoot. oh, and the temperature was perhaps 30 degrees or so.
I know I'm spoiled, and that much of the world has to deal with temperatures well below that on a regular basis, but guess what? I am soft and enjoy being pampered, not being made uncomfortable.
I wore my huge sorrels, my warmest coat, gloves, hat, and still got cold. really cold. freezing. so frozen inside that my legs began quaking and wouldn't stop. I moved from foot to foot, trying to keep my muscles working enough to create a little blood flow to warm my body.
but I was just flat out cold.
glad to be there, eager to watch the event, but by the end, frozen.
and it reminded me of why skiing was never on the top of my list of things to do: I was always cold. always. my dad once gave me a little knit "nose warmer": a pyramid-shaped thing with a tassle on the end, with 2 straps to tie around the back of your head. gee, right dad, I think I'll wear that when I go skiing with my friends today . . .
there really isn't much of a point to this discussion, other than to say I'm a wimp when it comes to low temperatures.
the good news is that sarah jumped beautifully, and it was truly incredible to be in the company of these elite athletes from across the world and most importantly, park city.
even if my legs shook.
even if my frozen nose was bright red.
even if I was a good 20 degrees outside my comfort zone.

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