Hang in There, Baby

Wisconsin Notes:
-lunge to St B
-it’s still cold out
-we (still) out here

The winter is tough. We all know this. As Winnipeggers it’s something we come to expect, but geez these last few weeks have been TOUGH. Things I heard people say last week include but are not limited to: “I had to jump start my car 3 times this week” “I fell off my bike 4 times on my way to work because of the snow and road conditions” “the students have been outside for recess in over a week, they are going WILD.” And these people weren’t complaining, they were just stating facts about the reality of their day to day lives. And I mean, these things aren’t the end of the world but they are a pain and they can slowly start to drag you down.  

Last week I went for a run on one of the polar vortex -37 days and it was shit.  I had on all the right clothes, I was protected from the elements, but the air still hurt my lungs, I was wearing so many pairs of tights it felt like I couldn’t lift my legs and I was feeling hella sorry for myself.  When I finished I took a step back and looked at my attitude and knew I had to change something, I forced myself to remember that I am lucky as hell because:
1. I have the health and ability to run
2. I have the clothing that allows me the opportunity to go outside
3. I have the financial and transportation resources to go run on the track
We can’t control the weather, in fact we can’t control a lot of what happens around us, but what we can control is how we choose to react.  We can control our mindset and attitude and that can make all the difference in the world.

The January Blues, a down day, depression, a mental health day, the Sunday Sads, Season Affective Disorder, we call it by a lot of names.  But we all work on/ struggle with /live with our mental health on a daily basis. Bell Let’s Talk Day is always during the 3rd week in January because it can be a hard time of year for a lot of people. But I feel like, here in Winnipeg the blues hit a little late, the deep cold set in, and although most of us still made it out to NP, we haven’t been outside moving nearly as much as we’re used to.  We thought, shouldn’t this be over by now?  I feel like the Great Skate is the NP version of Christmas / New Years, it gives you something to think about and look forward to in the long, cold, hard, dark winter days. And afterwards when it was over and it was still -31 for the workout, I thought ‘well fuck’.  The winter is long and it is hard, and it’s probably still going to get really cold a few more times, and then it’s going to thaw and slush and freeze and repeat.  But we will get through it, spring will come, whatever your going through, you can get through it. 

I challenge you: to be kind to yourself and to be kind to others.  Shovel your neighbours walk, buy coffee for the person in line behind you, say something nice to yourself in the mirror, open the door for someone, look them full in their face, smile and say ‘good morning’, hug your child extra tight, give your dog some extra belly rubs.  Whatever it is, do something to make yourself and those around you feel better.  We can get through this, and we will do it together.  It was said best in Game of Throne “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” 

Here are some positive, awesome, amazing things that happened at the workout this morning , Erin was chatting with a new member named Rinat and found out that she is becoming a Canadian citizen on Friday! Congrats Rinat, welcome to Canada! We’re glad that you’re here. Kevin won the Shabooya award today! Kevin is awesome, he first showed up on the now (and forever) infamous -51 day, and he’s been coming ever since, he is always smiling and friendly and we hear that he is a talented artist to boot.  Welcome Kevin!

Every week as leaders, we get a Tuesday email, to keep us updated and connected with the wider NP world, well after the Great Skate one of the visiting leaders Jackie from Phoenix wrote a recap of her experience, and I thought I would share a few excerpts to start our Great Skate Recap:

“As I was gearing up to go, the threat of the Polar Vortex was upon us. No joke – My parents were so worried that I couldn’t hack it that they suggested I just eat the cost of the ticket and not go. For those of you that know me well, you know I travel quite a bit. Often alone or off the beaten path and not once have my parents expressed concern for my well being or suggested I not go. THIS. FREEZING TEMPS. Is the Achilles heel for desert families everywhere.

I’m going, to be honest here. I’m 33 years old and I’ve never worn mittens. I’ve worn gloves, but not mittens. I had brought what I thought to be some appropriate TNF gloves, but I was advised against them and given the more appropriate gear for this weather: double lined mittens. Who knew, trapping your fingers together also traps in the heat? Not me. “

First of all, just LOL. She’s never worn mittens?! C’mom, I love that. Guys we are tough as hell, we are weatherproof. We are living through a weather reality most people can’t imagine. But I think that was a great intro to talk about the Great Skate. We choose the coldest weekend of the year, and decided to throw an big ass, hardcore, outdoor race. The Great Skate was a HUGE success this year, we had 175 racers and one hell of a day. If you haven’t been to a Great Skate, words won’t really do it justice, so see for yourself here with Wild House Media’s next level video:

If you couldn’t make it this year, don’t worry we’ll do it all again next year. But for now I need to do some thank you’s:
– to our volunteers: we literally could not do it without you
-Prairie Summit: for the race bibs and prizes
-The North Face Canada: for the 100 toques, photo booth on the river and finish tent with coffee
-Garrett at Wild House Media: for videography
-Emily Patrician: for photography (photos dropping soon, be hype)
-everyone who showed up: you’re the ones who make this happen
-Colin: for his graphic design work, creating our poster

It takes a village to make this event happen, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you to EVERYONE, it truly was an epic day.

That’s it from me, I have expounded for long enough.

Keep showing up, we need you here.

-Ernest M

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