As I sit here, ready to head off to work, the temperature without factoring in the wind chill, is -20.7 degrees F. That would be -29C; once we reach -40 I don't need to do the conversion anymore because -40F and -40C are the same. That is not beyond the realm of possibility, believe me. On those insanely hot days in the southwest US they always say that its not the heat its the humidity. Around here they (whoever 'they' are) say its not the cold its the wind. To a certain extent that's true. It was certainly enough to cause me to wimp out, wuss out, or whatever derogatory phrase you would like to apply to it, on a training ski last night.
I need to confess this publicly because once my fellow SKOAC Renegades get wind of this they will make sure its public knowledge anyway. I'm the guy who insisted we ski the Vasaloppet last year when we awoke at the home of the Legend and GraciousPartier and saw it was exactly the same temperature it was this morning, only with a 15-20mph wind from the northwest. I also insisted that we ski ABR during last winters Hurley weekend trip when temps were similar. As the emails trickled in yesterday with everyones regrets that they could not make the French Park rendezvous after work, I admit to feeling a certain amount of disdain which, fortunately I did not voice publicly. It was just going to be RonO and me and we would just take a couple slow laps to avoid any freezing lung syndrome and the 10 hours of coughing that accompanies excessive exertion in very cold weather.
The hour approached and I changed clothes in my office and waxed up my skis in order to make the 6pm rendezvous. Wind chill was about -30F but we planned to ski the woods trail and negate that wind. I went out to my car and it must have decided it had enough and refused to start. I opened the hood, removed the battery cover and my fingers were inoperative in 30 seconds. One of our guys had a booster starter and the trusty VW fired right up. I couldn't really grip the steering wheel or shifter well yet, but the car will certainly warm up. As I pulled out of the parking lot, now about 20 minutes late, I thought of the VoiceOfReason (and how she earned that name) sitting there with a nice fire and a couple pasties in the oven. My resolve to ski disappeared like the feeling in my fingers and I called Ron and told him I'm out.
To make matters worse I'm heading to New Orleans for a long weekend with my long time buddy, MrBuzz. We will be meeting TheWoodenOne at his timeshare and, as far as I know, there is no 'gratuitious exercise' on the schedule other than repeated elbow bends. With races coming up I need to ski and put on some miles but it looks like the first opportunity will be next Wednesday. I hated missing last nights ski and I hope RonO had a decent time or at least survived. As I reflect back however, on my evening of wine, a nice wood fire, and a healthful pasty in my belly, I think I made the right choice.