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.
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.