Nowadays when people see my rolling in with my bike helmet in tow the reaction is always the same, “You rode in this weather? You’re crazy!” I’ll usually laugh it off and say that it’s not that cold. But sometimes I’ll go deeper than this and explain that it’s actually colder to walk. When I’m riding, it’s a little cold at first but my body heats up because I’m making it work. A lot of times I actually sweat. If I was to walk to the train I’d be cold the whole way. Then when I get off the train, I have to walk again in the cold. So I’m actually warmer when I ride my bike. The response is always the same, “Oh, that makes sense”.
Are people really afraid of the cold or are they using it as an excuse to not do things? You didn’t want to come to the movies because it was cold? Are you really not coming to my birthday party because it’s cold? You’re not going to the gym because it’s cold? It’s the worst in the Caribbean and African communities. “It doesn’t get cold like this in Haiti, and I’m just not used to it yet,” most often coming from the guy who hasn’t been to Haiti in 10 years.
In my opinion, the “it’s too cold” excuse is a cop out. The same people who don’t go to their friends birthday party because it was too cold are the same people who travel an hour to work in the “cold”. I’m sure these people go grocery shopping in the “cold”. This speaks volumes to where people’s priorities lay. People have to go to work and they have to eat, so they’ll brave the “cold” and get what they need. But why isn’t going to gym right up there with going to work? Why isn’t going for a walk or running in the park up there with grocery shopping?
When I started riding my bike last spring I always wondered in the back of my mind what I would do once it got cold. Would I start taking the train? Drive? But as the cold weather gradually made its way in I simply adjusted to it. Put more clothes on, got special gloves and earmuffs. Sometimes I was still cold because I didn’t wear enough, sometimes I was too hot because I wore too much, but the key is that I was flexible and ready to adjust. You see, riding my bike everyday is a top priority for me. It keeps me in shape, saves me money and helps me learn more about my city. I’ll make whatever adjustments I have to in order to keep riding.
It’s a new year and and I know you’ve made some resolutions. Are you going let the “cold” hold you back from having a successful year? Or are you going to make the appropriate adjustments to get it done? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating running in the park when there’s 6 inches of snow covering the road, or going to the gym when there’s a blizzard. I’ll admit, I used to use the “too cold” excuse, but now I ride my bike in the snow. What are some things that you won’t do in the cold? What are you going to stop making excuses for? Do you have a funny “too cold” story? Please share. I’d love to hear them.
Until next time, cheers to a better you!