As Temps Hit 80, Remembrances of Cold Days Past

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Neither cold nor rain nor mud…..

Jackson Bogel, Guest Columnist

Into the wind.

The park is populated with runners, joggers, and bikers, all braving the cold. Winds make it even colder, but the temperature is still bearable. Most do not welcome cold weather. Most choose the comfort of home. But at Seneca Park, some have chosen to brave the uncomfortable conditions.

A man runs by on the grass trail. He’s only running on the dirt path on the inside of the loop. His lungs must hurt, and his legs look tired, but he doesn’t stop. He continues to run the oval loop.

A woman walks along the asphalt path that circles the baseball, football, and rugby fields. The wind screams in her face, but she doesn’t flinch and carries on.

Senior Jackson Bogel

Another man, wearing smooth, tight clothing and riding a bike, whizzes by on the road beside the walking woman. He is bent over the handlebars. His legs are spinning furiously on the pedals.

I know from experience that every time the wind coldly blasts his torso, he will hunch over even more, and he’ll wish he did not have to cycle today. These people, like me, have something in common: we run, we bike, and we walk…

Into the wind.

The atmosphere at the park is dismal and ugly. Leaves are strewn across the ground, and the trees are bare. No public park service rakes or disposes of the leaves. In September, October, and November, when they fall, they are simply left to dissolve.

They remain on the ground, moved only by wind and footsteps. The leaves are ugly shades of brown and grey, yet they still rustle when you walk through them. 

One does not only survive the cold; one conquers the cold. They swagger from battle victorious.”

From recent snow, sports fields are muddy along the loop. Every baseball field in site has huge puddles in the infield. There are patches of snow left on the ground from two or three days ago. There is no sun today, so the pools remain on the infield, daring a pair of brave souls to see past it and toss a ball around.

But nobody comes. Likewise, the flag football and rugby fields are soaked. Mud at least one inch deep warns those with good shoes to stay away. Even so, a group of club football players, ignorant of how filthy their shoes will become, enjoy playing a game on the half-grass, half-mud field.

They are smiling. How strange it seems that, as bad as the weather is, they are joyous in their play. The only field in good condition is for field hockey, fenced off with vibrant green grass growing in anticipation of the next season.

Cars cruise by, their drivers comfortably sitting in heated seats. The draft they create in their wake is a forceful blast of cold air. Occasionally, one will slow down and park in the gravel next to the path or across the street.

This place where friends meet teems with energy. These people prepare themselves to face the harsh elements.

A warm shower will feel so good to these people on the loop.  Leaving the park will feel so good. Home—only three minutes away!

Why did they leave their comfortable dwellings?  They could have run on a treadmill. They could have just lifted weights. But there is something about the outdoors…. One does not only survive the cold; one conquers the cold. They swagger from battle victorious.

Nobody at Seneca Park today was forced to leave comfort behind. But for some reason, known only to each individual, they did.

There are many ways to be comfortable. There are many more ways to be uncomfortable. One of these ways is to move the body with full momentum…

Into the wind.