Monday, April 23, 2012

Selectively Pansy

I am known as, and this is a scientific term, a selectively pansy athlete. Selectively pansy athletes will cry like a little girl during certain activities yet will be willing to brave even the toughest conditions during others. Scientists are still working on identifying the pansy gene but it doesn't seem to show much consistency from one individual to the next. Plus, it may be heredity, but this hypothesis seems to open up a new nature-vs-nurture can of worms. Some of the leading the experts believe that selectively pansy is a polygenic condition making the exact cause much more elusive. Even without the DNA evidence, selectively pansy is completely real and I have it.

For example, if the temperatures are even remotely close to uncomfortable, I refuse to bike outside. I used to think that I could handle 40ยบ temps on the bike. This is still true as long as it is sunny, no wind, no rain and I am riding for less than an hour. If ALL of these conditions are not met, it's off to Stockholm for me.

As it turns out, I haven't found conditions that are anti-running. I have and will run in rain, snow, sleet, hail (true), high winds, cold, hot, or any combination of those conditions. I have lots of strategies to deal with weather patterns. I only need to add an extra layer of clothing, take off my shirt, drink a little more water, slow my pace a bit, etc. I cannot remember being uncomfortable during a run due to the outside conditions (I have been uncomfortable due to the workout many, many times but that's not the same thing).

Not all runners have this attitude. Some people hate running in bad weather in much the same way I hate biking. They are selectively pansy too. Runners have this device that is supposed to do for running what the bike trainer does for biking. This device is officially called a hamster wheel treadmill, but I have other words for this machine. Since this is typically a pg-13 type-blog, I will not emburden you with some of my choice words. Yes, I have gotten on the treadmill. I have learned that it is significantly more painful than anything Mother Nature can toss at me.

I own all of the cold weather biking gear. I've got the tights, bibs, lobster-finger gloves, toe covers, booties, thermal socks, ear warmers, skull caps, wind breakers, shell jackets, etc. I, at no time, look forward to donning this equipment again (making it that much more ludicrous of an investment).

Here on the east coast, we are being barraged by a late April snow storm. The temps are expected to be significantly cooler than average for the rest of the week. The runner portion of my personality couldn't care. What's a little bit of rain, snow, and wind when there are miles to be run? The cyclist portion of my personality looks at the forecast with trepidation.  There's absolutely no way I'll be biking in that. Period. End of story.

(Or is it the end of the story... There's always pool temperatures to consider.)

Anyone else out there got the Selectively Pansy gene too?

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