Cool Rural America

So I moved across the country and left my little fitness blog untended for a long time. Apologies!

My life and lifestyle have both changed quite a bit. I moved from a state of hot, intemperate summers to a state with four distinct seasons, most of which are conducive to being outside whenever you want. I went from the south end of the Great Plains to the foothills of Appalachia. The move took me from the tail end of a hot, static summer right into the beginning of autumn and a month and a half of gorgeous changing colors and comfortable temperatures.

I mean, yeah, sometimes it’s chilly and wet, and you just want to be wrapped in blankets with a beloved pet sleeping in the crook of your arm as you work on the crossword puzzle. But as long as you’ve got proper clothes and gear, you’ll be ok going outside to be active.

Unfortunately, when the weather first got chilly, I didn’t have the proper wardrobe to endure the climate. Like, at all. And when I had to go out in it no matter what my t-shirt collection was guarding me against, I knew I was in for a bad time.

Since there’s not a yard for the dogs to run around in at the new place, my boyfriend and I walk the dogs several times a day. We make a loop around the neighborhood, taking the gravel road that runs behind the house out to the main drag and back up a gentle hill. It’s a little less than a half mile circuit, and I take it at least twice a day, sometimes more. It’s great to be getting so much exercise, as it helps me maintain my weight, boosts my cardiovascular fitness, and helps me bond with the dogs. It also allows me to keep an eye on all the different kinds of disgusting things the dogs sniff out and try to eat.

I know I was striking in the early mornings walking the dogs in my pajamas, sneakers, and fleece bathrobe, but sometimes, you’ve got to get a little more intentional and a little less accidental in what you wear when the weather’s really rough or you’re not acclimated to temperatures below 80F.

A diptych of a woman holding two dogs on leashes, two different outfits

Out for walkies. Left, before winter clothes shopping. Right, after winter clothes shopping. Both depict attitude at being dragged outside by the dogs at 6:45am on a morning when I don’t have to work.

To guard my extremities and not-so-extremities from the chill, I went clothes shopping and picked out a bunch of thermal sweaters, some comfy workout pants, several new hats (I LOVE HATS), and a couple of pairs of gloves. My boyfriend also got some flashlights to make walking the dogs in the dark a little safer (the gravel road is traveled by cars fairly regularly and not lit by streetlights).

I feel much better prepared, physically speaking, to take the dogs out to do their business in the cold now that I can dress the part. I think I’ve got a long winter ahead of me, but if I can just keep adding to my wardrobe and bracing myself for wind and rain, I’ll more than enjoy being outdoors this winter. And I know next summer is going to be a lot more awesome. If I ever get too cold, I can just think about the summer in Texas when we didn’t have air conditioning for two months.

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2 responses to “Cool Rural America

  1. I know how the changes of weather can be, but like you in the colder months, I just added more layers when I skate, hike, or surf in the water; it’s all about making adjustments! Glad you and your boyfriend are having a good time adjusting:))

  2. I am all about the layers now, for sure. I ordered a bunch of winter socks and tights to wear with my workout clothes the other day, and I’m considering getting a convertible scarf or balaclava to keep my lips from freezing (the thought sprang to mind on tonight’s long dog walk in 20-something degree temperatures).

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