Friday, January 11, 2008

Onward Pregnant Soldier

It is said that weather permeates the Canadian conscience. If it does not affect us physically, it provides conversational fodder for all moments of awkward silence, all stops by the workplace water cooler, all morning carpool-commutes. There is always occasion to discuss, in varied tones of complaint, the weather.

As a weather-lover and outside trekker, I do not contribute much to these conversations. I do not have the weather line speed-dialed into our phone. I do not religiously check the local conditions on the internet. I simply walk out the door and deal with what greets me. In fact, inclement weather refreshes me. If one can count, somewhat reliably, on stable, predictable daily routines, one can never count on the weather remaining the same.

I have long made it a habit to get up 4 or 5 days a week to exercise in the mornings. As my pregnancy progresses, and the number on the scale begins to terrify me, I have become more and more firm in my commitment to get out the door and DO something--be it power walk, stroll or waddle. At 6:30, I wake to the sound of Gabriel's angry growls from down the hall; "Mommyyyyy! Daddyyyy! Out!" I ignore him. I go downstairs and use every ounce of my creativity to suitably wrap my growing belly bulge in winter attire. My husbands coat, a hat with the ear flaps tightly tied under my chin, my warm bulky boots. . . The look I go for is a Hershey's Kiss with legs. I head down the driveway and make a single decision: East or West? The primary factor that weighs into this decision is: Do I feel like being barked at by two dogs this morning or three?

In all the weeks I have been making my way down the road the weather has not been at all worth noting, until the past four days, that is. In four days I have been presented with a most confused environment. It cannot seem to make up it's mind. First came the fog. Heading East, I couldn't see more than a few feet in front of me. While this did not physically present me with any difficulties, my heart nearly gave out every time a vehicle suddenly emerged from the gloom ahead, or behind, responding with slight swerves and abrupt slow-downs upon discovering a Hershey's kiss waddling down the side of the road. I decided to cut the walk short after the second child-laden school bus hurled out of the midst and slammed on it's brakes in alarm.

Next was wind. I had actually checked the weather site that morning, and the little picture showed big rain drops. It also mentioned something about 60-70km winds. Somehow, after perusing the given data, I concluded that a golf umbrella, 5-feet in diameter, would be just the thing to bring along. Heading West was just plain funny. Upon turning out of the driveway the wind immediately plastered the umbrella flat against my back and propelled me forward down the road with forceful shoves. I think the wind was having fun with me. While it saw fit to gracefully sweep Julia Andrews up and carry her to her destination with panache. It saw fit to plow me down the road like a stubborn cow being herded into the barn. Need I mention the trip back? The umbrella HAD to be closed and held streamlined to the wind or it wrenched my arm sideways. Meanwhile my figure, grown to very UN-aerodynamic proportions, acted as a wall, and my man-coat as a sail, catching every gust and making my progress back towards home a serious battle.

Today. Well, today brought freezing rain. That just plain hurt. Tiny stinging pricks on my exposed face. Ouch!

I deserve what I get, heading out into world at the mercy of it all. But incase you missed it, I've been having a lot of fun doing it.