But First, The Thaw by Andy Waterman

You're still wearing your winter down
when the first false spring appears
one lunchtime in late February 
or early March. 
The sun choosing
for one day only
to burn with a ferocity
you forgot it had.
Thoughts turn right on Hereford, 
left on Boylston
and keep racing and racing toward borrowed houses
made of wood, surrounded by woods
crickets singing hosanna to the 
riotous warmth of summer
and the possibilities within.
But first the thaw
and then
the spring.

Resilient Running

When I came across Andy’s poem on Tracksmith, it spoke to every feeling I had during my first winter marathon training block. I’ll be honest, I hated running in the snow. The way the cold wind would whip across my face and shake every bone in my body made me reconsider running more than once. With the pandemic, I didn’t feel safe going to the gym to use the treadmill. My only option remained running outside during a New England winter I’ve known my whole life. As cold as it was, and as much as I hated the freezing rain, patches of ice, and sidewalk snowbanks, it made me a resilient runner. That title was something I felt like I had to earn. Not for anyone else, not for kudos on Strava, but for me. And it would be something I had to earn with every 5am wake up and for all the weekly miles carrying me closer to my goal. Because ultimately, there was only ever one option if I wanted to be resilient. I was going to run and I wasn’t going to stop until I earned it.

So when I felt the sun on my face and my skin warmed during one lunchtime in late February or early March like Andy Waterman writes, I was reminded winter couldn’t last forever. My first ever marathon is 57 days away as of writing this. All 26.2 miles of joy and pain etched into a course still to be determined. This day will certainly prompt its own reflection and future post but until then,

“first the thaw and then the spring”

If you liked Andy Waterman’s poem, tell him on Twitter.

Check out more of my photography in the Gallery!

Published by Jacob Ames

Feline father, perpetual graduate student, sport enthusiast, pancake expert, and gratitude writer. Using this blog to keep my life organized and to develop a platform I can one day use to share baseless conspiracy theories about the robot uprising. I enjoy writing!

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