Thursday, January 25, 2007

The cold, hard facts

I have learned a important lesson about the cold. Yesterday I had the day off and decided to go on a nice long power walk. It was cold and breezy outside, with the wind chill in the upper teens. I have found that I have a pretty high tolerance for the cold (especially if I am walking – sitting at home not so much). So yesterday I spent almost 4 hours briskly strolling through the city. It felt really good.

Toward the end of my walk I felt an itchy/scratchy feeling on my legs. I wear a Velcro knee brace and figured that it must had come loose and was scratching me. When I got home however I discovered a big rash on my legs. Apparently, no matter how much I can take the cold – my skin act independently. For what ever reason the cold had really chapped my legs, shoulders and back. Ouch.

This morning I was in for even a ruder surprise. My face, out in the elements all day yesterday, also looked much worse for the wear. My face now looks like a cross between suffering a bad sunburn and an allergic reaction to some medication. Not pretty. Also, this morning, my face was swollen almost beyond recognition. When I glanced in the mirror this morning I saw myself 15 years older! No exaggeration – it was bizarre and frightening. I was puffy around the eyes and cheeks. The little wrinkles had become deep canyons and the youthful glow I have managed to keep too long was replaced by a harsh, ruddy complexion. This just 2 days after a birthday no less!

I got to work about 2 hours later and I thought much of the puffiness had gone down. But the comments by my co-workers quickly dissolved that bit of wishful thinking. They asked me “what’s wrong with your face” and told me “Go home you look so sick” and this favorite from another co worker “I cannot look at your face today”.

I do feel a little sick now and may take that one piece of advice to use some sick time, but for the moment here’s a lesson for any newcomers to cold weather: Just because your brain likes it – it doesn’t mean your body will.


sarahschoofs said...

Poor guy...
I hope you have someone at home that will nurse you back to health... ;)

Jeff Briscoe said...

Yikes! Sorry to hear about that. If it makes you feel any better, it did get chilly overnight here in SW Florida. We even had to turn on our heat for the first time since mid December! :-)

A belated happy birthday to you!

Anonymous said...

73 degrees and sunny in Miami. Just mowed the lawn bare footed and no shirt to catch some rays. maybe go for a swim later