Saturday, March 28, 2009

Contemplating Snow

Elliptical Mileage: 8.3 miles
MP3 Player:
Michael Nyman, MGV (Musique à Grande Vitesse)

It is not supposed to snow like this in my part of the country on the last Saturday in March! Nevertheless, as you can see from the above photo of my back yard this morning, we seemed to have borrowed today's weather from some Saturday last December in Chicago! It was a good day to stay home, especially given how little experience most people born and raised here have had driving in snow and ice.

On the plus side, today I finally managed to summon up enough willpower to climb back on the elliptical machine, after replacing those defective runner wheels earlier in the week. I did a solid half-hour with no sense of strain during or sore muscles afterwards, which I'm taking as a good sign. I hope to get back into the routine now that I've finally started again, and perhaps that will persuade my metabolism to start burning calories faster.

Facing out into the snow swirling around my back yard while I did my miles on the elliptical made me think about Hans Castorp in Mann's Magic Mountain (my favorite novel, in case anyone should ever ask you). I kept remembering the chapter called "Snow", when Hans slips away from the luxurious Alpine sanatorium where he's hoping to be cured of a "moist spot" in one lung and he goes cross-country skiing - only to get caught outdoors in a blinding snowstorm and to have a waking dream that brings together all the novel's themes. With the snow blowing up against the big windows my elliptical machine faces, I felt a bit like Hans heading into the blizzard with his skis and ski poles ... though of course I didn't have any epiphanies about the meaning of life and death, only the small satisfaction of starting and finishing a workout for the first time in over a month. Better than nothing, though.

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