Blue to Green

On Christmas Day, I woke up feeling blue. Hard tell why. Maybe it was lingering frustration over unsolvable  PC-to-Mac technical problems that happened when my wife and I tried to Skype a holiday puppet show to our grand kids the night before. Or separation from family. Or seasonal affective disorder (SADS). Who knows?

But I got cured. I was moping around and my wife asked what my exercise plan was for the day, which I usually have figured out mid-first cup of coffee. I said I didn't know. She said let's go snow-shoeing. At first I balked -- have to find the shoes (easy, hanging the the garage), my fleece pants (easy, folded in the closet), the dog's leash (easy, by the back door where it always is), plus, uh, there might be noisy snowmobiles. She gently quietly insisted: Let's go, it's a beautiful day, and the snow should be good.

So we drove up to Sunlight, a nearby ski area with a nice trail system, and, after minor equipment adjustments, off we went on a steady climb to a favorite meadow.  The air was a crisp 28 degrees, quiet, and the sun breaking trough the bare aspen. The snow glittered with large crystals. Deeply breathing the cold air, within just a few minutes, less than half a mile, my mood completely changed. My funk had vanished. I felt elated to be out there and be alive in such a beautiful place.

A little over a year ago, I put a video on YouTube, called "Running, Shakespeare and Zen," which talks about a Harvard psychiatrist's research on exercise and depression. New research conducted in the UK shows that exercising in the "green" outdoors improves mood and self-esteem. And the benefits happen very quickly, within the first 5 minutes, and just get better from there.

In the winter, when the days are short and it's cold outside, a lazy part of our nature tells us, like bears, to overeat and hibernate indoors. But there's another part of us, more like wolves, that leads outside, into the cold, onto the trails, where you'll feel like howling with delight.

Happy Holidays to All and to All a Good Hike!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them....
Zen Quotes by Alan Watts.

Happy New Year, TOJ! Thanks for keeping me inspired. May the new year bring you many more adventures and surprises from Mother Nature!