There is a certain time each year when I can feel the seasonal change coming. It is usually mid to late April when the air changes. Everything smells and feels lighter. There is a hint of grass in the air and you can almost smell the dew sitting on the lawn each morning. I start sleeping with the bedroom window cracked ever so slightly. My winter clothes are starting to feel heavy on me and frankly, I cannot stand wearing a jacket or coat to work anymore. It is here everyone. Spring has sprung.
Spring when I was a kid meant outdoor recess after lunch. We got to run amok for 19 minutes after being packed into the school cafeteria eating some type of meatball hero. Spring for me now means cute clothes, a weekly landscaper bill, weekly pedicures, the promise that school will soon be over for the year, ultra-cute work dresses, and the return of my ever-growing flip-flop/sandal collection…errrr, ok…addiction.
When we decided to stay in the Northeast, I used the change of seasons as one of my reasons for staying on Long Island. Once I got tired of one season…the next one rolled in. New clothing styles and holiday times. My tastes in the seasons have changed more in the past few years than ever before. It used to be that summer was my hands down fave season. I could visit the beach every day, swim in our friends’ pools, play outside, travel, and soak up every ounce of sun each day could deliver. Oh, and my birthday is in the summer. I would celebrate each day in August! Some will argue that I still do. The truth is though that I now enjoy each season and have found a reason to celebrate different events in each one. The birth of each season is a way to shed a little bit of our person and past and slide on into the next. It is our renewal in a way.
For me, my new love of Spartan racing officially starts in May. I have trained hard all winter long and I am ready to emerge onto the course. My toenails have all grown back from the prior season and are ready for another round of battle much to the dismay of my favorite nail technician who calls me her “Crazy Warrior Girl”. I shed the heavy sweatshirts and jackets and run in compression shorts and tanks through the mud and obstacles picking up cuts, scrapes, and countless bruises. I will heal I say as I slam into a wall face first and then smile after I realize that it could be worse – I did not lose a tooth.
Spring turns to summer and I continue racing and training like a lunatic. The gym is not air conditioned so I lose most of myself in a boot camp or lifting weights. Keep going I tell myself…it will hurl you through the next few months and hopefully over that wall with little to no help from fellow Spartans. I relax with floats in now my own pool and a few adult beverages at the end of each week. I still find solace at the beach where I often go to just stare that the waves and remember that the reason we are here is far more powerful than we realize.
Summer slows down. Before I know it, the sunsets arrive quicker and there is a chill in the air. The bedroom window is closed and I most likely will not touch the air conditioning button in my car until the following June. The trees start to turn the most brilliant colors. Starbucks turns into the Pumpkin Spice capital of the world and I am wearing black turtlenecks and jeans every weekend. Giants games on Sunday are carefully planned to include an appetizer and dinner during halftime. The Spartan season comes to a bittersweet end after the Beast and I again stare at my bruises and wonder how I got through it all. Fall also includes Halloween which I have always wanted to love but for some strange reason just loathe. Halloween could possibly be one of the reasons I am happy to see fall leave (pun intended) and move to winter.
Winter is sneaky on Long Island. The coats are suddenly heavier and before you know it, we are rushing to the supermarket for the last loaf of bread and gallon of milk because of an impending storm (which never seems to hit my town by the way leaving me with a loaf of French toast that I cannot eat). For me the best part of winter are the holidays. I live for Thanksgiving and still smile every time Santa Claus enters Macy*s Herald Square at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. It gives birth to the Christmas season, which still makes me feel like a little kid each year. I could do without New Year’s Eve each year but this is another blog for another day. The holidays melt away and we are left with the dreaded January through April stretch. The short days literally play with my moods and make me want to sleep until the following Christmas. I drive home from the gym in pitch black and collapse on the couch wondering what the hell I am doing training like this. Race season. It is coming. The seasons are changing. We are changing and renewing every few months. Feels good.
Let me get this published and book my next pedicure….