I’m a winter enthusiast. Running in the snow, cross-training in white-out conditions, and working hard to feel a smidge of warmth are my jam. That being said, every Michigander knows what winter feels like by March. I am no exception. By March, I get annoyed by all the damn layers I need to put on before going for a run, I get sick of the way my Yak Trax rub against my shoes, and I find my frozen eyelashes just a little less endearing.
This past week, Northern Michigan hit 40+ degrees for several days in a row; with sunshine. I did not realize how tired I was of winter until I felt that 40 degrees and sun. Strangely, the surprise enjoyment I get from spring always comes as a shock to me. It shouldn’t. I’ve lived in Michigan for 31 years and every spring I get filled with excitement about dry roads, warm weather, and blossoms. I guess sometimes you don’t realize how uncomfortable something is because you’ve been dealing with it for so long; you forget that life can feel different. It’s been winter for months now – months of squinting through snowstorms, months of slipping on ice, and months of short, dark days. And then suddenly, it’s not winter anymore.
Spring is the breath of fresh air we need. With longer days and warmer temps, I am much more good-natured with my wacky sleep schedule. Less sleep isn’t as big of a deal if I’m getting that boost from the sun. I plan more exciting and diverse running routes instead of just heading out my front door with a “let’s just do it and get back inside” attitude. It’s freeing. I am exhilarated.
I have never experienced depression personally, but I work with people with depression daily. The way people often describe life before and after antidepressants is how I feel (on a much smaller scale) about the transition from winter to spring. Like, “Oh! I didn’t realize how much better things could be!” Spring is eye opening. It is a season of growth and liveliness. Spring is like that first sip of coffee in the morning. I am awake now.
I’ve always enjoyed Michigan due to the changing seasons. I feel like I’m doing a lot of winter bashing in this post. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it. If we didn’t have insanely cold and difficult winters, would we appreciate spring as much? Do people in states with subtle season changes rejoice as much as Michiganders when spring and summer arrive? No one appreciates 45 degrees and sunny like someone in Michigan who spent the previous week shoveling out their driveway six times. I hope you are all enjoying this spring season as much as I am, I am so incredibly grateful for it.