Thursday, January 15, 2009
The brrly -30° wind chill, and I'm loving it?! And a small secret...
Alright. I am starting to question whether I might really have a couple screws loose. It's seriously been around in the -30°'s (F) with the wind chill, and it makes me feel excited. Schools are closing, cars aren't starting, nose hairs are freezing... and I'm wanting to walk in it.
On Tuesday night I walked home from my class (a little over 4 miles). It wasn't as cold then as it has been yesterday and today... According to weather.com, Tuesday's low was a balmy -12°. I was walking between 9-10:30pm, so I imagine it wasn't quite at the low yet, but I'm pretty certain it was below 0. And I don't think that includes a wind chill. So yes, it was still cold.
I left class wearing my normal clothes, with the exception of a pair of Smartwool socks and my leather hiking boots. On top of my normal clothes (jeans and a polo shirt), I wore a pair of thin wind pants, a wool hat with ear flaps (strings tied under my chin to keep it from slipping upward), a scarf wrapped around my neck loosely 3 times (thanks for the great scarf, Pam!), my super-duper warm Sherpa down jacket I got last winter, and a pair of gloves.
My walk was toasty-warm. This is going to sound weird, but my biggest worry was people being overly concerned about me. I really appreciate those that are concerned, as I understand as well as the next guy that -- 'know what? It's freakin' COLD outside!' I know that when temps get this low, it is very dangerous and very serious. Being uncomfortably cold isn't funny, and neither is frostbite or hypothermia. But I really don't think I was being half-witted about it. I was dressed for it, and I was pretty darn comfortable. I even had my tunes playing for an hour before my iPod's battery pooped out from the cold. I was a happy walker!.
Thank you, by the way, for all those that DO express their concern. You really make me feel loved, not to mention confident knowing that I have friends I can count on if the need were to arise. :)
I just don't want anyone to worry tooooo much. I'm not asking for people to NOT worry, as I mentioned, I do appreciate concerns and how much people care -- and I know that those that are concerned would drop anything to rescue my crazy arse from the cold if I needed it. Ahh, the love of friends... to tell me I'm crazy, yet still rescue me as I do crazy things! Just know that if I find myself in a dangerous situation, and I begin to feel frightened, I am not too proud in those situations. I WILL call someone, or stop in somewhere to ask for help. It's never an easy thing to do, but I would if I needed it.
It was kind of funny, as I left the school building, I thought to myself, "Where could I stop by if I got too cold?" Well, there was Players (a bar), Ohio Street Station (a bar), Citgo (a gas station), Andy's (a bar), BP (a gas station), a couple of churches (do churches still keep their doors open, though?), The Beachcomber (a bar) and Parnell's (a bar). So I had plenty of bars and gas stations to stop in if conditions were more than I could handle. Thank you, Wisconsin, for being you! :)
On top of the different open businesses I could stop in at, I had a few local friends that I knew I could call to pick me up if I needed it. So really, I was prepared. I love any kind of weather, as long as I'm prepared for it. My least favorite weather phenomenon is strong wind when it's cold, because that's the stuff that can be difficult to beat, even when you ARE prepared, but it has to be dealt with from time to time.
So, on the way home, I had my scarf pulled up to the topmost part of my nose, just below my eyes, and my hat pulled down just to the top of my eyebrows. This was my only exposed skin. My breath was going upwards out the scarf around my nose and it would leave condensation on my eyelashes. Twice I had to take a glove off to pull clumps of ice off of my lashes. It was quite funny, because I would blink and wouldn't be able to open my eyes because my lashes were literally frozen together (not the lids -- just the lashes from the frozen condensation from my breath). I giggled each time I cleared them of their ice-boogies.
I got home and had Adam take a picture of me, which is at the top of this entry.
Yes, maybe I'm crazy, but I like to think I'm not stupid. I have yet to find out if I truly am stupid, and I imagine I might eventually push myself to that point. But, in my defense, this is a part of my life that I truly enjoy -- pushing myself beyond my comfort zone when possible. When I come out alive on the other end, I might be tired or worn, but "alive" is the key word here. That's how I feel. All senses accentuated, blood rushing in pulse, smiles impossible to avoid... and tear-welling self-pride.
The Frozen Otter is Saturday, and these are the feelings I'm shooting for. I just can't wait.
And I secretly wish (well, it's not a secret any more) that it was going to be a little colder than forcasted. Looks like 11° above as the LOW! That's like a heat-wave compared to this week! It will still be an amazing adventure, but deep down I was hoping it would be a little more "frozen" than it already will be.
Okay, maybe I'm just ONE clown short of a circus... just one.