Last week,Mark and I were hiking on Flagstaff around sunset when the wind chill was -35. I have issues keeping my fingers warm and was complaining a bit. Mark said something like: "Have you noticed two of your favorite activities, skiing and cyclocross, take place in the cold. You might want to rethink your what you like to do." Good point. A week after our outing, I've lost a layer of skin off the end of my nose and the ends of my fingers are still numb. However, I still raced Saturday, twice as a matter of fact, in very cold conditions.
The smart thing would be to avoid putting myself in positions that exploit my weakness to cold. But here's the rub, I really love cyclocross, backcountry and skate skiing. Therefore, I'll put up with occasional numb extremities, shaking uncontrollably before and after cold, wet races and sending stupid money on clothing to keep me warm. All this in an attempt to overcome my basic incompatibility with the cold. And you know what, I'll keep doing it because the payoff is more than worth the discomfort. If you're reading this, you probably understand.
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