So, this morning, I got up to go jogging. Actually, I call it jogging because it sounds more impressive, but really I do much more "brisk walking" than actual jogging on these little adventures.
But anyway, I got up to go jogging. I called the time/temperature phone number first, as is my custom, to see how many layers of clothing I should put on. The temperature was 2 degrees. Now, generally my rule is that I don't go out if it's less than 5 degrees, but I've been feeling just a little bit chubby lately, and so I decided to put on an extra layer or two, and brave the cold.
So, I put on a long sleeve thermal top, another long-sleeve shirt, a turtleneck, and a thick sweatshirt. I also put on two pairs of sweat pants, as well as running tights. I then put on two pairs of gloves, an ear band, a knit stocking cap, and two pairs of thick socks.
And with that, I headed out the door. As I went along, I must admit that it seemed much colder than 2 degrees to me, but I figured that my internal sensor must have been off.
About 10 minutes into the ordeal, I walked (briskly remember) by the local bank and saw that the temperature was not in fact 2 degrees, but rather a whopping six degrees below zero! This at 8:05 a.m. Now, I have a rule about jogging in temperatures below zero, and the rule is that I don't do it. Ever. Not when I'm feeling chubby, not when I'm feeling antsy, not if doing so would save my (hypothetical) first-born child. Not ever ever.
But, there I was, already in my four layers of clothing. It had taken me quite a while to get into that clothing, and I wasn't real keen to go ahead and go back home after all that work. Besides, one of my favorite songs was playing on my mp3 player at the moment, which probably clouded my judgement. Anyway, I decided not to turn around, but to continue with my walk.
Everything went fine for about 20 more minutes. Then, I started getting quite cold. After a bit, I determined that I should start making my way back home. My chest and upper body were fine, but my face was starting to get that "I might be getting frostbite" feeling, (not that I really know what that feeling is, having never had frostbite on my face before) and my toes were getting a little frigid as well. So, I turned around and started the trek home.
As I made my way home, I got colder and colder, and it seemed to take longer and longer. And then, I started to think a little bit (generally a sign of trouble). I started wondering if I was in fact, getting frostbite on my face. I pictured my engagement pictures: Eric, looking handsome and dapper, and me with big ugly red marks on my face from the frost. Horrors! Then, I realize that I'm letting my imagination get a little bit out of hand. Oddly enough, that is what really got me into trouble.
As I realize that I'm not thinking quite clearly, I also realize that not being able to think clearly is one of the symptoms of hypothermia. (It also tends to be one of the occasional symptoms of being Charlotte, but we won't dwell on that for now) "OH NO!!" I think to myself, "I'm starting to get hypothermia! This is even worse than I thought!" My mind flashes back to the movie I watched in 7th grade P.E., a movie all about hypothermia and how easy it is to develop in the cold, and how people lose all their senses and die right there. Then I start to panic, ever so slightly. I estimate at this time that I am probably about 10 minutes away from my home (in a rather populated area mind you, which would surely decrease my chances of dying of hypothermia, should I in fact be developing the malady), and so I concoct a plan.
I determine that I will continue on my way home, going only by the busiest streets, and if I start to really feel hypothermic (however that feels), I will knock on the door of one of the houses, and politely ask for a life-saving ride home.
So, that is what I do. As you might imagine, I arrived home safely about 8 minutes later, and within about 5 minutes of being in my warm home, I was thoroughly warm, thoroughly comfortable, completely free of frostbite, feeling rather silly about my over-reaction, and grateful beyond measure that I didn't knock on any doors.
However, I think the time has come to re-implement the "no jogging if the temperature is below 5 degrees" rule, chubby-feelings notwithstanding.