cold-training baptism

We ran and played, and stuffed ourselves with leaves for insulation between two layers of clothing.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Perhaps true, I don't know.
We each dumped a 5-gallon bucket of ice-cold creekwater on someone in the apprenticeship, and in turn each had a bucket dumped on us.
It was snowing a mix of sleet and slush from above.

It was one of those experiences that makes you feel alive, because of a choice you made. We were safe. We knew we would probably not die, or even get hypothermia.
Oh, but it was COLD. For a moment I thought I couldn't breathe and would maybe get up and run away.
This is partly what it is like to really feel the cold, to embrace it and tell it you are trying to KNOW it, to meet it without fear, but with respect.
Since then, I've really enjoyed wearing fewer layers. I find the freedom of movement easier, and so much more comfortable without all that bulk. Also, to simply feel the cold, to acknowledge that it is there, really isn't bad at all. We are getting aquainted.

Then, if I start to shiver, it's a reminder to move along and keep choosing to live. Don't just stand there - look at some tracks, listen for a birdsong, run and feel your legs moving.


Liana said...

Ok, Heidi... sometimes I think "Oh, how fun" but I'm not saying that as I'm looking at you all with COLD water being dumped on you.
Perhaps I'm just a wimp.

mennogourmet said...

You can tell the people who have lived in Alaska for awhile...they wear fewer layers than us newbies. I'm learning, though. I am learning to dress for being active in the cold, like going cross-country skiing. Once those large muscle groups get moving for long enough, you warm up.
But yeah, the cold, slushy water seems, well, sadistic. :)