I am officially a New England mom. Raised in the state of New York, I was a tri-state area kid. We got snow, don’t get me wrong, and I certainly went sledding, but that was pretty much the extent of my outdoor activities during the winter. That is until high school, when I ran “indoor track”. Don’t be fooled. Although the meets are held inside, “indoor track” practices were actually held outside, and I was never adequately prepared. On more than one occasion I ended practice crying in the locker room in pain as my hands thawed out. Thankfully, I was a hurdler and, unbeknownst to me at the time, I used my lobbying skills to argue that hurdle practice should be held inside the school in a hallway.
Growing up that’s what I did, I avoided the cold. I was always the first kid to suggest heading inside from sledding or ice skating, and certainly never the one to suggest an outdoor activity. Then, I chose to go to school in Connecticut. I didn’t really consider the weather in that decision.
I went to UCONN and for anyone who has attended or visited UCONN in the winter, you know that the campus is a wind tunnel and always 20 degrees colder than anywhere else in the state. I was still completely unprepared for the winter and spent many a class defrosting having walked across campus in inappropriate shoes and no gloves.
So, when after a few months of dating my now husband, he invited me on a ski weekend, I was terrified. First of all, I didn’t know how to ski, and second of all, I hated outdoor winter activities. I actually had to request an appropriate snow jacket from my parents for Christmas that year, seeing as I only owned a Pea Coat.
Since then, I’ve made Connecticut my home and skiing is one of many outdoor winter activities I have grown to love. I picked up running again post college, and about 4 years ago started running year round, in as cold as 5 degree weather!
I attribute 90% of this new found love for outdoor winter activities on my “gear”. During my time living in New England, I have acquired layers and layers of “gear” for my head, my top, my legs, my hands, and my feet that keep me warm, dry, and happy. This “gear” isn’t cheap, so it has taken some time to acquire, but this year, I feel complete.
I can head outside, whether it be to warm up the car before work, walk my son to school, play in the snow, go skiing, or take a run, and I feel 100% comfortable. The little New York girl in me is shocked by this, but it’s true. No cringing, no avoiding…I can confidently walk out into the cold, snowy, winter perfectly content. I am officially a New England mom and I have to say, it feels good!