Maybe I’ve Hit The Tipping Point To Stay Inside Rather Than Run

25 02 2010

When you hit 35, you don’t notice the little changes. Gotta stretch before running. Takes a little longer to shake off the rust when you stride out of the driveway down the street.

You are supposed to be a bit more cautious by this point in life. You quit wearing doo-rags and t-shirts with offensive slogans in public.

Now I’ve become the old man who is chronically whining about the weather.

Yup, that’s me.

I fully expect to start growing hair out of my ear the length of the native prairie grass. Only after I start wearing white pants and eating dinner at 4 PM at my new residence, Del Boca Vista.

I couldn’t tell you the last time it was 40 degrees here. As I age a little bit more, my tolerance for cold weather is what melts away. In 1992, my father was astonished that I chose to go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Part of it was his concern that I would become an anarchist or communist and also that I chose to freeze my limbs, tendons and bones from November to early March.

Chris, have I EVER let you down on a jog? I always kickstart your heart!

Now at 35, I have a full box of Pizza Rolls in the oven instead of lacing up my silver New Balance size 15’s, starting up my iPod and kick-starting a four-mile jog. Not even the prospect of running fast to “Don’t Go Away Mad” by Motley Crue is getting me off this couch right now.

Just too cold out there.

Here is the difference. Three years ago, I lost about 25 pounds in three months. All in the dead of winter back in Eau Claire. The exact reasons for the weight loss were obvious: I was chowing down on lettuce wrap sandwiches and running at Gold’s Gym a ton. Even in -13 below weather, I would crank out two or three miles on the treadmill at Gold’s when I was finished anchoring the news at 10 PM.


On this day, Brett Favre was 38. So cold even he wanted to go inside.

It’s getting more difficult to step outside in the cold. This is the same reason when it snows during Thanksgiving, a family sends the college kid out to clear the walk and not the 77-year-old grandpa. In January 2008, I think I saw this “quick aging in the cold” phenomenon first-hand. Brett Favre was in the NFC Championship Game in his final game as a Green Bay Packer. Even with their previous playoff struggles, no way the Packers would lose to home with this much on the line, right?

Of course they would lose. After an hour outside, Favre looked like he didn’t want to be out in the cold anymore. That triggered the other times in 2007 when I saw him after victories in the frozen air and he seemed miserable. This probably also explains why Kurt Warner was happy to play in Arizona for the final five years of his career and not in, say, Cleveland or Buffalo.

Whether a Hall of Fame quarterback or some schmoe who writes stories for a living, time marches on and catches up with all of us men. We can’t avoid it — only try to temper it. How we battle back differs. Some of us wear tighter shirts. Some of us make up for a pot belly by working the biceps. Some of us just rub Flexall on our skin and put Grecian Formula on our head. Whatever works.

Ding! I think my Pizza Rolls are done.

When I need to find that inspiration, maybe I should really dig deep. Not “Don’t Go Away Mad” but… this:




One response

25 02 2010

Nice article! Miss ya old friend!

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