Living in Alberta means living with winter, whether you like it or not. Somehow, it used to shock me every time winter came, and I would hibernate in my house until the warm weather returned. There were times when I had big aspirations to not let the darkness and cold get to me, but winter seemed to win every year. Then some small changes happened: I moved to a town with milder winters and beautiful scenery; I realized that you can buy boots that won’t let your toes freeze; and I met people who actually enjoyed being outside when others are hibernating.
My goal to embrace winter has been ongoing for over three years now, and while it is still tough, I have definitely improved. Here are
Michelle’s Tips for Enjoying the Cold:
In keeping with the fun and casualness of our blog, here are
Silvain’s Winter Thoughts:
I love seeing Michelle embrace winter! You see, I like winter. It’s not my favorite season, but it’s sure better than summer in some ways. OK - only in a couple ways: less sweat, and when it snows, the scenery, in my opinion, is splendour! Only when it snows, though, because brown and grey sleet slush for 8 months of the year isn’t cool.
Anyway, about dressing for running in winter, as Michelle says: “It’s all about layering - lots and lots of them.” She does love tons of puffy, plush, and pilly things to stay warm. She’s cold-blooded: I’m the opposite. My problem is sweating, no matter the season. I could write a whole bit on sweaty hands and rock climbing in the sun. I love climbing in the shade, because my hands grip better. Some people won’t understand this no-sun climbing preference sometimes.
Sweating causes real suffering in terms of vigorous activity in the cold! (Or, different suffering, because being frozen from not being able to generate heat isn’t fun either!) The wetness can be pretty uncomfortable, and also dangerous. In winter, God’s pretty great invention to cool us down works especially efficiently and fast.
I usually overdress and have been trusting my experience and heading out with less on than I worry that I need. I’ve never really regretted it, but did think that when I start running away from the townsite trails this spring, I’ll have to rethink dressing and will have to start packing options. Trying and tweaking isn’t too hard, just a bit of effort. If you change something each time, you’ll get closer and better at the art and science of it all.
It’ll still be winter in the mountains for a while. I always chuckle when I end up on snow in the middle of summer. It’s not great when it snows in town in July; although, I secretly enjoy it. One of the draws of higher elevations is the freshness. And, when I do find snow, I grab a handful to cool my hands. It’s always very refreshing.
We may never agree on a favourite season, but we will continue to embrace all weather!
Who We Are
Hi! We're Michelle and Silvain: a married, Christian couple that's always seeking to learn, explore, and take on new challenges. Our adventures take us up mountains, down trails, and to faraway places. Follow us as we live, love, and are crazy! Forever!!