snow and trees along trail

Jogging in the Snow: Positively Enjoying the Present Moment

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to enjoy an activity that’s not possible every winter day: jogging in the snow. Sometimes there’s a bit too much snow on the ground, and sometimes it’s a bit icy. This time, though, it was just right.

As I ran along a trail in a nearby park, surrounded by trees, I found myself wondering, “Just what is it about running in the snow that I enjoy so much?”

While a few friends and acquaintances are able to relate to this, a few also think it’s a bit crazy. “When the weather’s like that,” they exclaim, “I’d rather be in my nice warm car or on the couch in front of the television.”

Indeed, we all have our own definitions of what constitutes fun.

So what do I enjoy about it? Along with the obvious physical fitness benefits of exercising, and the additional energy boost I experience for the rest of the day, I think much of it has to do with the peacefulness and simplicity.

As I watch the snow falling around me and feel the intermittent tiny specks of coldness melting on my face, it takes my mind off other things. I’m in the present moment. I’m appreciating everything that surrounds me right now, everything for which I have to be grateful.

snow and trees along trail 2

When I’m doing these things, I think very little about how much further I have to run, how the air I’m breathing is a bit on the chilly side, and so on. I think only about where I am right now. The activity becomes more rhythmic and flowing.

A gratitude for the simple yet beautiful things surrounding us in the present moment can be beneficial when we’re pursuing our visions. This appreciation helps us to maintain a positive mindset.

As we face obstacles, whether it’s tired leg muscles, an economic recession, or simply a day where nothing seems to be going our way, maintaining such an attitude keeps us moving along the trail, headed toward our visions.

This is often easier said than done, and does take some effort. However, focusing on life’s snowflakes is something we can choose to do at any time, in any place. There are probably plenty of other things surrounding each of us that are beautiful in their simplicity, but we just haven’t recognized them yet.

Take a few minutes to notice your environment. What do you have to be thankful for in this moment?

Photos by Dave Wheitner.

Dave welcomes phone-based life, career, and transition coaching clients from around the world.

2 comments

  1. Alfredo says:

    Hi, this month end I have to go to Montreal. From “Viña del Mar”, Chile. So I’m searching for few tips to go out for practice jogging, in the snow. You need a lot clothes? special clothes? special runner’s shoes?

  2. Dave W. says:

    Hi, Alfredo.
    Sounds like a fun trip! For safety reasons I usually don’t jog if there’s more than an inch or two on the ground, or if there’s much ice, so I usually wear standard running shoes and socks. Outside of that, it’s helpful to have breathable gloves, midweight polyester tights and snugly fitting long sleeve shirt (often referred to as a “base layer” that you can also use for outdoor camping and backpacking in cool weather), along with a fleece (equivalent of Polartec 100 or 200) and a thin outer windbreaking shell (this can be an inexpensive rainjacket, but if it doesn’t breathe, make sure it has armpit zippers for ventilation or you’ll feel like you’re in a sauna). Don’t forget a fleece cap and earmuffs. With this setup, I find that I’m fine between roughly 25 to 50 Fahrenheit by adding or removing layers. Sometimes if it’s a bit colder I might add a thin polyester short sleeve shirt under the long sleeve base layer; and if there’s no wind I often don’t need the outer shell. If you think you’ll be outside for extended time without running, you may want to get a windbreaking pair of pants–I’m usually fine without this while I’m running. I don’t know what types of outdoor stores are available to you locally, but I get some of my gear at our local REI, which also has online ordering. Hope that helps, and have fun!
    -Dave

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