I was going to write a post about the beauty of 2o-degree weather when this damp, gray, slurping muck is the alternative, but Tim beat me to it. Still, I watch the winter melt temporarily around me and I remember that life creates beauty where it will - snowbanks dressed in mud; the late-morning sunrise slipping through a blur of precipitation; flattened blades of grass that haven't seen light since mid-October.
I tried out O.V.'s recommended one-hour ride on the trainer today. Pretty effective. Back when I was more of a gym rat than a snow bunny, I used to attend spin class religiously on Tuesday nights. Plowing through those intervals today reminded me of my favorite spin instructor, Nick, who was constantly prompting us to turn our dials to "thick mud" setting. "You're out on the trail!" he'd yell. "You're riding in thick mud and it's raining! Let's see you ride in the rain!" And we'd all grind into the pedals, but of course, we weren't kidding anyone. We were all riding in a climate-controlled gym, listening to empty-calorie techno music and staring at a neonn-splashed mural of a mountain landscape. How could we be anything but disconnected, thinking about our day at work and mulling whether to have salad or salmon for dinner. I'm happy to keep riding outside, even if that means mud and rain and the unavoidable chill of 35 degrees and soggy.