I woke up early, showered, dressed, and went outside to shovel.
I shoveled a path to my car.
I shoveled the walk from the back to the front.
I shoveled the steps to the porch.
I shoveled a path to the mailbox.
I shoveled off the porch so that the landlord could get to the other apartments and the mailman could get to my front door if any packages arrive.
I shoveled a path to the sidewalk.
I shoveled the sidewalk to the property lines.
I shoveled out my car.
Without drifts, the snow was about seven inches (almost 18 cm) deep. According to Google Fit, I have more than accomplished my exercise for the day.
I have been through worse. This used to be the usual state of winter in this area. Being out in this felt … good. It felt right. Difficult, but the right level of difficult. The kind where you can feel the resistance between your body and the world, like an elastic band stretched between your fingers. The kind of resistance that builds callous on your hands and fingers, or tans your skin – a tan is chemical callous after all.
And as has been my wont for as long as I can remember, my mind wandered as my body strove. At first, I thought of my daughters. My mind always goes there first. Then to other random things: music, art, poetry, science. But eventually, my mind quiets. And I simply keep working until the job is done. I feel things. I see things. I experience things. But my mind is silent.
And then the job was done.
I hit the road. Not many vehicles on the street. And the ones around me were driven by people who understood how to balance caution with expedience. Even the people in SUVs seemed to know that engine power does not automatically provide a greater coefficient of friction between tires and snow.
I arrived at work about an hour later than my usual time. It’s practically a ghost town here. I’ll work my full day, go home, and possibly go for a run.
There will be no speed record today. But I am hopeful that I can get a few miles in. Then I can take a rest day tomorrow without guilt.
Meteorologists say that it is going to snow all weekend, but I am still hoping to run 11K on Sunday. It is probably not realistic, and I will be happy with what I get. But it is what I am aiming to accomplish.
I will run.
I will see things. I will hear things. I will experience things. But my mind will quiet.
And I will keep going until the job is done.