17 Lessons From The First Winter

  1. I learned it is okay to run barefoot if the temperature outside is below freezing but dry.
  2. I learned being wet in 0C is colder than being dry in -29C
  3. I learned to not freak out if conditions out there are not as per the plan. Embrace the suck, these might be the moments you’ll remember most after some time.
  4. I learned running in winter is much easier than running in summer. It is the time you go below -10C, things begin to change with a drop in every degree.
  5. I learned it is not important to be strong to challenge something bigger than you. It is important to feel strong, being at the right place in your head.
  6. I learned it is very important to believe in yourself before you start anything. If you won’t, no else would. Self-doubt is as hazardous as self-inflation, both lead to catastrophic results.
  7. I learned faking a smile in pain and tough times boosts morale. You end up doing things you couldn’t even imagine.
  8. I learned human contact is really important when you are out there in cold. Just to have someone around to empty your thoughts to, does wonders.
  9. I learned running in a group or with a partner makes ultra much easier irrespective of conditions. Being all alone, you only get slower and suffer.
  10. I learned I become stronger and wiser when I do things alone out there, but I enjoy and embrace more when I am with someone.
  11. I learned there is no bigger fun than sliding down a hill on a sled next to a 4-year-old, who trusts you will not let him fall.
  12. I learned if my hands are warm, I can do anything in cold. If they get cold, I am paralyzed and can do no good.
  13. I learned running or any outdoor activity in extreme cold require a great amount of focus, and there is no substitute for experience.
  14. I learned I can still fuck things up even if I have best gear and resources, and do not really know how to use them.
  15. I learned running in the snow in extreme cold is much easier than running in the snow in warm conditions. Also, running in fresh snow beyond 6 inches demands a great deal of agility and technique.
  16. I learned even most raging rivers freeze in winter and running on them can be fun.
  17. I learned being alone is bliss and keeps you in peace, but being with family/community is more bliss, at times not so peace but makes you feel immortal.
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