- 29 May, 2019
Winter - colder and darker - a blessing?
For some people Winter can come as a relief after a long and hot summer – not me.
I am not saying I don’t enjoy the change in season.
I am just not a fan of the downside to winter – the fall in temperature and the fact that the sun is now rising two hours later than in the middle of summer.
For an early riser like myself the morning darkness is a challenge. I am getting out of bed at the same time as I would in summer, but it is now dark and cold. Climbing out of a warm bed does take a great deal of discipline.
Even the dog is reluctant to leave the house when it is dark and a little cool outside.
However, once you accept and overcome the challenge – getting out of bed – the mornings are magical. They are clear, beautifully refreshing, crisp and the sunrise can be magnificent.
The other very interesting aspect that can be found at this time of the morning, is that feeling of belonging to a special community.
You may be starting to scratch your head and wonder what I am talking about. So, to try and put this feeling into some context, let me explain.
My partner Donna, the dog Scout and I have been running and walking in the early hours of the morning in our local area through summer and winter for over 10 years. During this period, we have met a number of people as “crazy” as we are, who I am sure (because Donna and I work) we may have never met.
Most of the people we have met are either our age or older – as a reminder I turn 63 in a couple of months. These people are happy, motivated and have a wonderful, positive outlook on life. There is a hardier group of wonderful older men and ladies, average age over 80, who in fact swim every morning regardless of the cold or the darkness.
Over the years their outlook on life and their attitude to their own frailties has been inspiring. They are retired but have certainly not stepped away from life to lead a sedentary life as sometimes is expected of those of an older and more respectable age.
This is the community that I am talking about, which I am proud to say I am a member of.
There is another plus point about this time of morning – After my run or ride I come home or go for a coffee feeling invigorated and alive, which I know would not have happened if I had laid in my nice warm bed.
The other day, I read that optimism, exercise, cultivating friendship, walking longer, faster and with a dog, enjoying a cup of coffee and exercising in the open space can all lead to a healthier and longer life for those people in retirement.
This community of early risers I am sure is not unique to my local area, so next time you are finding it a little hard to get out of that warm bed in the morning, remember there are a community of wonderful people already up and looking for new company. I promise you will feel better about yourself and the world will not look quite as bleak – even though it still may be dark outside.