Below Zero Excuses

So, I set a goal for the month of February. Considering where I live, this goal may not have been the best one to set.

I decided to challenge myself (yes, you can challenge yourself) to get 10,000+ steps in each day.

I also happen to live in a state where winter can be and most often is bitterly cold, extremely windy, and if there isn’t snow on the ground in our yard, there is most likely ice. Ice is not my friend, since a few years ago when I slipped, smacked my head on the cement and proceeded to have temporary amnesia. That is a story for maybe never, who wants to relive that? 🤦‍♀️

Anyway, since we already know that I am great at finding excuses NOT to exercise, one would think that setting a “daily step challenge” during the winter wouldn’t be the best idea. Obviously, I didn’t think this one through. 🤣

Today was extremely windy, there was actually a severe wind warning issued, along with below zero temperatures.

I thought about getting out and walking when I got up, around 6am, but it was already very windy. I decided to put it off until later in the afternoon.

Can you guess what happened?

You are correct, I put some layers on and headed out for my walk in -14 degree weather before the sun set (it would be much colder after sunset).

Haha, I’m guessing you thought I was going to say that I decided to skip the walk for today? Trust me, I thought about it.

In all honesty, I was trying pretty hard to talk myself out of going for a walk.

  • It’s too windy
  • It’s too cold
  • The sun will be setting any minute
  • My warm layers are in the laundry
  • It’s too icy, I could slip and hit my head again
  • Etc…etc…etc…

In the end, I realized that:

  • The wind had calmed a bit and I could walk on the side of the house that would block the wind
  • Yes, it was cold, but if I let cold stop me I wouldn’t leave the house (for exercise) at all during the winter months
  • There was still over an hour before the sun set
  • It wouldn’t hurt to pull my outer layer leggings from the laundry hamper
  • If I haven’t learned to be careful of ice then I guess it will be another lesson learned 🤷🏼‍♀️

I decided to carry my hot chocolate along to warm me from the inside and I headed out…after donning 2 layers of clothing, warm winter coat, a neckerchief, headband, thick gloves, and of course, grippy bottom hiking boots.

At about 5,000 steps, I was ready to head back in. Then I saw a few little birdies looking for seeds on the ground. I decided I had best fill the bird feeders. I felt a bit warmer by this time and decided to head back to the trail to finish my steps. I made it to about 7,000 and was ready to give up but my phone rang (I find it easier to get my steps in if I’m not concentrating on every single one).

While I was walking and talking (much to the amazement of my sweet farmer, haha, yes, I can multitask 😂 ) another 500 steps had passed, the sun had set and it was getting much colder.

I headed inside and decided that since I was still enjoying the phone conversation that I would continue walking around inside the house.

That did it! I reached 10,000 steps before the call was over.

I look back now, as I am typing this, and can see all the “God-winks”, as my aunt calls them, feeding the birds, and the phone call that kept me going to reach my goal.

Do you have a daily, weekly, or monthly step goal?

Winter Beauty

Where we live, winter can be extremely cold. Some years we may get many feet of snow with relatively nice temperatures and some years (like this year) we may get little snow but have extremely cold temperatures. It was -3 degrees with a windchill that makes it feel like -23 degrees this morning. It is definitely winter here.

There is much beauty here, even when the temperatures are freezing cold.

Beautiful Sundogs ~ Please excuse the dirty windshield.

The sundogs happen when there are ice crystals in the air that play with the sun’s light (official explanation from NWS below). Some say that moisture will be on the way but this sundog photo was taken a few days ago and we have not had any new snow since (I am not complaining).

Sundogs are colored spots of light that develop due to the refraction of light through ice crystals. They are located approximately 22 degrees either left, right, or both, from the sun, depending on where the ice crystals are present. The colors usually go from red closest to the sun, out to blue on the outside of the sundog. Sundogs are also known as mock suns or parhelia, which means “with the sun”.” -National Weather Service

Deer enjoying the lilac branches

With the deer, I can’t say that this only happens in the winter but I do enjoy it when they wander through the yard. It seems they don’t mind me watching them as long as I am behind the glass of the window where I don’t seem to present a threat to them. They just mosey on through, snacking as they go.

Do you have a favorite season of the year? How cold do the temperatures get in your area during the winter months?