It is true that I believe that running in freezing weather builds character and offers a chance to see things that are beautiful and unexpected. That being said, I faltered yesterday. I went to the gym in the town over with my dad and ran a while on the treadmill. I felt bad about it as I abhor running on a track, but I just couldn’t face the wind and the ice.
While trudging along, I thought about the fact that there are people in the world stronger than me. One of whom is my mother, who is currently braving the 15 degree temperatures to participate in a bird count, an entirely altruistic exercise in which she is subjected to the elements in order to count and catalog small flying creatures, themselves probably wishing to be in southern climes.
Anyway, at the gym, the television played a channel dedicated to horse racing, which reminded me that there is a second group of people (other than birders) who are out in this weather: jockeys! The screen showed races held at the Aqueduct track, in Queens, where the conditions looked just awful. The jockeys were covered head to toe in satin, and the riders atop the staid mounts that calm the high-tempered race horses were basically wrapped in large blankets. A number of horses tossed off their riders, and, really, who can blame them? I’ve been to that track. It’s lovely in a slightly end-of-empire kind of way. But I can bet nobody was in the stands today.
Update: It seems that the horses and their riders have been granted a reprieve! From the website: “Due to frigid temperatures and high winds, Aqueduct Racetrack will not have live racing on Sunday, January 3.”