Shoes and no socks

I’m trying to keep up the good work. Once you work off 36 pounds, the challenge is to either keep losing or at least maintain your progress. The problem of building this around a weight-loss contest is that it’s hard to keep going once the contest ends. And if it ends the right before Thanksgiving, it’s even harder. I spent the holiday at my sister’s house, and she is both a good cook and an excellent host – so there was more than enough to eat while I was visiting. I did not however, insist on using guest privileges at the gym she and my brother-in-law belong to. I also let the cold weather keep me inside the house while I was there (hey, it gets cold in Ohio).

Matt prepping the gear

Earlier in the week, I spent some time in the wilds of Minnesota for work. It gets even colder there. I don’t mind traveling, but the week of Thanksgiving, the Grand Rapids (Minnesota, not Michigan) metroplex was in the single-digit temperature range. During the day. I’ve lived in the South so long that it’s difficult to even imagine why people live in places that get that cold. And it wasn’t particularly easy to get there either (it’s an old logging town). Fly from Memphis to Detroit. Change planes and fly to Duluth. Rent a car and drive 90 minutes to Grand Rapids. The people up there are very nice and they have that flat Midwestern tone in their voice (it’s like watching “Fargo”). It’s also the home of the Judy Garland Museum, although we didn’t have a chance to stop by.

Oh yeah, it was cold!

Think I was kidding about the single digits? The rental had a dashboard temperature display. When we arrived at our outdoor location (of course there’s an outdoor location – why else go to Minnesota?), it was a balmy 9 degrees. The videographer was able to build a little warmth because he was moving around. Being the producer on a shoot like this is problematic. You can’t really take notes when you’re worried that your fingers are going to fall off. It did warm up a bit before we left. An entire degree. The first day we were there, it was nearly 70 in Memphis (makes you want to channel Kenan Thompson and sing “what’s up with that?”)

Surprisingly comfortable

Now that I’m back, it’s still a challenge to stay active. There is a fitness center at our office campus; I’m just too lazy to take the extra time to go there before work or stay late to go after work. When it was light until 8pm, I didn’t mind working out after getting home. Of course, now that it’s pitch black outside by 5:15, it’s a bit of a challenge. Not running in the dark, but knowing that the temperature is going to drop to freezing on most days. And now that I’m wearing the Vibram 5-Finger shoes, I can’t wear thick socks to keep my feet warm.

But – surprisingly – once I get out the door and start moving, I find that my feet are the warmest thing on me. If I layer correctly, I can actually work up a sweat by running two quick miles. Even though I like to go a little farther than that, I know I’d want to stop and walk a little bit if I were trying to cover 3 miles. With two miles, I get out, and I’m back in, inside of 20 minutes. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when it gets even colder. Stay tuned.

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