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There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. -- John Ruskin

>> 29 December 2009

Do you like bad weather?

Do you like rain, fog, gray drizzle? Do you like humid and cold weather conditions?

I used to dislike that kind of weather very much.

It curls up my hair. I have to carry an umbrella, which tends to always be in the car when I'm in the office or vice versa.

People are aggressive on the street hurrying, trying to get past me into the dry and warm safety of the next shop. Malls are over filled with people escaping boredom at home. I am cold and wet when outside and too hot and sticky when inside.

People are often in a bad mood. And even when they are not, they are still complaining about the weather.

I used to be one of them.

Now I have come to like this weather. I don't love it to pieces, but I really appreciate it.

How come?

Well, I started running.

And with a busy schedule and hence limited time to run, I have the choice sometimes between running outside in the rain or in the basement on the treadmill.
I used to choose the treadmill: no need to put on 3 layers of clothing, no coming home all wet and muddy, being able to stop when I felt like it (which is usually a lot earlier than what a good exercising plan recommends), being able to watch tv or listen to an audiobook while running... The advantages are numerous.

But it is also very boring to run inside and especially on a treadmill.

And I have come to like the diversity of running outside in all kinds of weather.

I ran through a snowy landscape a few days ago. The wind was blowing snowflakes in my face. The fields were a different kind of white depending on whether they were pure soil, or grass, or left over weeds.
It smelled like winter. Like Christmas. Like holidays when I was a kid building igloos in our back yard.

I ran through icy rain today. Just a slight drizzle, putting a layer of little droplets on my lashes.

The ground was still frozen solid in certain places and I sometimes had to walk, or escape onto the grassy and less slippery side of the road. I could not run at my usual pace, but it gave me a whole new and different workout.

In the forest it was dead quiet except for those big raindrops that gather on a leaf and fall off when the load becomes too heavy. When they hit your face it's like someone dropped a goblet of water on you.

There was absolutely noone around and I felt alone, but in a good way.

When I get home from a run in the outdoors, I feel good.
The kind of good you felt as a child when you had been playing outside, climbing trees the whole afternoon.
The kind of good you feel when you have accomplished something and are proud of yourself.
The kind of good that can make you go on for another 5K, climb a high mountain, master an almost impossible task, do what you thought was impossible.

Yes, that kind of good.

And that is why I like bad weather, because in some weird way, it makes me feel really good.

Oh, and it also has the added advantage of making you less bored and aggressive :-)
And we could all use that...

So next time the weather is bad, and you're bored and feeling kind of edgy, go outside and brave the elements.

I guarantee you that you will like it. And if not, if it did not make you see things from a different angle, let me know and I will send you a free gift that will.


Lance 30 December 2009 at 12:30  

I completely love this! It can look miserable and nasty out there sometimes, but just getting out there can totally change our perspective. It was so great to read about your running experience outdoors. It's been cold and snowy here, and I've been opting to run on our treadmill (at least a little bit!). It's time for me to bundle up and head outside!

Mimi, I wish you a very wonderful New Year. You are a great friend, and it has been so great being here this past year, and watching the journey of you unfold...beautiful...

The Napkin Dad 30 December 2009 at 18:41  

Every time I run in adverse weather I find I have a great run, or at least a great memory. The rain, snow, cold, wind, all can hurt your comfort bone but it strengthens your sensory bones and your memory bones.

Vered 2 January 2010 at 00:31  

"So next time the weather is bad, and you're bored and feeling kind of edgy, go outside and brave the elements."

Highly unlikely to be honest :)

Although I totally see what you mean!

Hulbert 3 January 2010 at 05:11  

Hello Mimi. I'm not a big fan of cloudy and gray weather either. But after reading this it makes sense that we shouldn't let bad weather affect our mood. Running has always been a good way to lift mood up especially when you can do it whether it is sunny, raining, or cloudy. Getting outside and seeing the environment as it is helps bring clarity to one's mind, and your article reminded me of that. Thanks for sharing this. :)

Tim 4 January 2010 at 22:18  


Nice post...I used to work with someone who loved rain and cloudy days. Because I live in Chicago with some tough, long winters...I learn to live with our challenging weather. Sometimes, I even try to enjoy it an see the good in it, but its not easy. Actually, on December 23, I ventured out downtown in the middle of a snowstorm and I did like it...mostly because I could take the train down there. It was pretty fun because I had time to enjoy it. But too much of anything (especially snow) can turn out to be a pain and a huge inconvenience. Happy Holidays!

It's All Wanderlust 6 January 2010 at 07:46  

Mimi, first time here! I think this is a great post on mind over matter....and "reframing." Nice.

Mindful Mimi 10 January 2010 at 10:54  

@Lance:I hope you did go out that day and had a good time :-) I don't always to it but when I do, it feels great.

@ Marty: So great to read there are people like you sharing this experience. Yes it is all in the bones and the senses. Thanks for visiting.

@ Vered: Hum, you totally see what I mean but it's very unlikely you will do it. Now that is kind of an oxymoron isn't it? :-) Try it, just once. And let me know...

@Hulbert: You are welcome. It is more being in nature despite of the weather I guess that does it. We spend so much time indoors that we forget what the outdoors does to our senses. And the outdoors in 'bad' weather hightens that experience.

@Tim: Happy holidays to you too. I just spent a week in sunny Egypt where the weather is always good and warm no matter what day of the year it is. That is nice for a week's holiday, but after that, please give me my seasons again :-)

@ 365 Days: Welcome to my blog and I hope you return often. Welcome into blog world. It is a warm and fuzzy place once you get to know a few people. Surf over on to my friend Lance at http://www.jungleoflife.com/ - he made me meet a lot of very nice people from the start. Enjoy.

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