By Emily Kulkus
When I opened my eyes this morning and peered through the thin crack in my blinds I was confused. What were those little specks floating around? No! It couldn’t be snow? But of course, it was snow. And a good amount of it – a few inches at least. Turn on the TV and there are school delays because of the weather! It’s early April! Easter is already behind us! The next holiday is Memorial Day for crying out loud. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if the plow guy is going to come again.
It’s been a LONG winter. I know I don’t have to tell you that. You can tell that my 5-year-old was born in Syracuse because she’s constantly telling me how she “likes it cold” and loves the snow. (She’s the one talking snow angels at Halloween.) But you know it’s been a long winter when even SHE is asking me when summer is going to arrive. Spring first, I say. But do I believe it?
The only time I really do believe it is out on a run, which I’ve been thankfully doing outside on the road the last few weeks. Now, I don’t mind running in the cold – in fact I’d take a 20-degree day over an 80-degree day anytime. But snow and ice underfoot makes me nervous. I give snowy runners a ton of credit but it’s just not for me. Last summer I went down hard after stepping on a black walnut so I can only imagine what a good slick of black ice would do to me.
But these days, these earliest days of spring, are some of my favorite days to run. At the risk of getting all Cinderella on you, I love these days because of all the company you’ll find along the way. The robins are hopping, the geese are waddling two-by-two, the squirrels are doing acrobatics in the trees, the cardinals are courting and singing up a storm and even the deer are venturing farther and farther out, fattening up after a long, hard winter. And that’s just the critters!
On a beautiful run last week I saw so much budding green and bright yellow – tiny splotches of hope. The trees and shrubs and ground may be brown (and now white again) but spring is trying so hard to burst. And the first beautiful and oh so persistent signs are there, but only if you look. And of course, one of the best ways to look is out on a run. Take it slow and soak in the sights. Before you know it, you’ll have a good number of miles behind you and spring firmly in your grasp. Thank goodness for both.
Emily Kulkus is marketing coordinator at Fleet Feet Sports, Syracuse. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.