I love cold weather.
You've probably seen people like me as you drive by in your nicely heated automobile. Running. Skating. Skiing. Walking. Vacuous smile plastered on a drippy-nosed, red-cheeked face, a fog of breath appearing from underneath a snot-smeared upper lip. I think it is the running that freaks people out the most.
"Look at that idiot", they say. "Running. Running! In the snow! I hope he slips and breaks something, the freak!"
I've slowed down some. I don't ski or skate as often as I used to. But, and this sounds strange, I do train for winter. I know a lot of people who train for summer. Get in shape for bikini season and all that. But train for winter? That's just crazy talk.
Now, it could be the Scandinavian ancestry. There does seem to be something behind how tough we are in the cold. Which would kind of suggest that we've also been bred to enjoy it.
It could be where I grew up. Northwest Indiana, perched as it is on the south shore of Lake Michigan, gets more than its fair share of snow. When the wind blows in from the north, we get the entire lake, all 300 plus miles, to provide moisture for a good lake effect snow. Twelve inches a day - and sometimes an hour - is not uncommon. It is an extremely rare winter when we get no snow at all. So, we have the winter wonderland effect. It is encouraging to go out into this, this clean white landscape, as opposed to a brown grass desert topped with grey sky that some have to put up with.
It could also be the family and community tradition for outdoor activities in any type of weather. But again, that might be a Northern European type of thing.
All I know is, not so much now, but in the past, with all the outdoor activity, I'm one of the few I know who has a tan come March. And maybe that's why I don't succumb to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Getting whatever sunlight I can. Getting the incredibly fresh air down from the arctic. Not being sky deprived.
I know people hate me when I burst in from out-of-doors, in a good mood, exclaiming how that bitter frigid cutting bone-chilling crud out there is "exhilarating".