Upside-down mixed-up weather fitness tips

A cartoon of clothing for a week in Boston during the winter of 2017, varying from bathing suit to snow suit

What a silly mixed up winter/spring season we are having here in the northeastern part of the US.  And most everywhere else too, if my Facebook feed is any judge.  Thank goodness I have a wide variety of activity clothing for temperatures ranging from rain forest to subarctic.  And I’ve needed a lot of them in the past few weeks.

First, there’s been lots of heat.   Record temperatures were set in February in Boston:  73 F on February 24.  Some people, however, were undeterred in their insistence on ice skating:

Two girls ice skating on Frog Pond on the Boston common in T shirts and leggings, holding water from the melting ice rink.

Then, a few days ago the March temperatures plunged, setting records and almost-records in New England:

No records were set in Boston on Saturday, as temperatures reached a high of 23 degrees just after midnight. That’s just 1 degree over the record lowest high temperature recorded for March 11, which was 22 degrees set in 1874, according to the weather service.

Worcester, Providence, and Hartford set new minimum high temperature records of 16, 23, and 22 degrees, respectively, breaking longstanding records.

With this confoundingly mixed-up weather, what’s an aspiring-to-be-fit feminist to do?  Here are some strategies that are currently working for me.

1.Take advantage of the the aerobic opportunities that come from schlepping up and down stairs (in my case to basement, but attics will do as well), retrieving previously-stowed winter sports gear and clothing.  Then stowing it again.  Repeat as often as necessary, or until May 1, whichever comes first.

A week or so ago, with a heavy sigh, I finally put my cross country skis, snowshoes and ski clothing away in my basement.  But now, with a nor’easter bearing down on us (bringing who knows how much snow?), I get to go back to my basement, taking multiple trips to find everything I put away.  I’ve been up and down many times, looking for things and putting other things away.  I feel downright productive…

 2. If you find yourself resisting venturing outdoors when it’s super-cold outside (and windy, too, I might add), expose yourself to relentless peer pressure, and you’ll probably give in and go do something active.

Yesterday my friend Janet called, reminding me that I had agreed to go on a walk with her Saturday afternoon.  I demurred, saying that it was too cold (it was something like 14 outside, with 30mph winds and higher gusts).  She refused to take no for an answer, stating that it would be fine outside for a walk.  Note:  it was sooo not fine outside for a walk.  But walk we did, bringing along another friend, Jessica.  I lent Jess a pair of leggings to wear under her cords, as she was on the brink of hypothermia already.

In fact, it was a beautiful day, if windy.  The Fresh Pond reservoir in Cambridge looked more like the Great Lakes, complete with whitecaps:

Fresh Pond reservoir, with dark choppy waves

Fresh Pond reservoir, with dark choppy waves

Alright, maybe they weren’t exactly whitecaps, but there was a lot-a-lot of wind.  We saw interesting icy formations along the banks, made by splashing water, wind, and frigid temps:

A variety of ice formations made by splashing water and wind against branches

We were super-bundled up for our walk.  Janet and I both tend to run warmer than the average person, so we both dress lighter, but not yesterday.  Here’s what she was sporting:

Janet, in sunglasses, a scarf, hat and fluffy white long parka

All our exposed skin (all 10 square inches of it) got red and wind-burned.  However, it was a very fun way to get a little exercise on such a freezing day.

3. Invite relatives from the south to visit just before a snowstorm, guaranteeing lots of sledding, running around in the snow, skiing, tubing, and maybe even snowball fighting.

As I write this, my sister, a friend of hers and four kids are barrelling their way to Boston for a high school debate tournament.  Everyone is pretty excited about the snow (except my sister, who is the designated driver).  The kids have never experienced a nor’easter, so I’m hoping we get at least a foot of snow.  Chances are good this will happen.  This means I get to spend time and energy in lots of frolicking in the snow.  Of course, I will definitely be cross country skiing as soon as I can, but this time I get to expand my winter-fun palate to include sledding and tubing.  Frankly, I can’t wait.

Now I need to go to the store and get milk and bread.

Two women frolicking in the snow holding milk and bread

Two women frolicking in the snow holding milk and bread

About catherine w

I'm an analytic philosopher, retooled as a public health ethicist. I'm interested in heath behavior change, particularly around eating and activity, and how things other than knowledge affect our health decisions.I'm also a cyclist (road, off-road, commuter), squash player, x skier, occasional yoga-doer, hiker, swimmer and leisurely walker.

2 thoughts on “Upside-down mixed-up weather fitness tips

  1. catherine w says:

    Hi everyone– in an earlier version of this post I used the word “crazy” a few times, including in the title, to describe the weather. This was a mistake, as I agree with lots of people that the word “crazy” is ableist, making mental illness a pejorative term and object of scorn. I’m sorry for the previous usage, and fixed it in the current version.

    Like

  2. klyse3 says:

    The weather switches are confusing. I found that I’m very good at sticking to my run training when it’s sunny and 75, but not so much when it’s 30 and raining. Knowing this about myself, I’m very thankful for our treadmill, which I use when I just can’t muster the willpower to run outside. Enjoy the blizzard!

    Liked by 1 person

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