Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mind-Body Winter Dichotomy - A Dramatization

Well, here it is, Fall edging on towards Winter and once again I've been struggling through an internal battle against the off-season lazies.

Seems like every winter, the battle's a little harder. I don't know whether that's really the case, or whether maybe this year I just don't remember last year's that clearly - but what I do know is every year around this time, I do find my mind & body to be in less than 100% agreement about what's best for the whole package.

It's not like that in the summertime, when the days are long, the air is warm, and the gear is kept to a comfortable minimum.

Here's the summer Mind-Body discussion -

Mind: Ah, the forecast is for sunny, and the windspeeds are
Body: GREAT! Let's go fall in the water!
Mind: Shush. We must analyze the situation for the activity that will provide the most satisfactory growth of skills...
Body: OK! Whatevahs! Can we just go fall in the water already!

Pretty much goes on like that, either I end up kayaking & include a skills & rolling practice session (GREAT! We're falling in the water!) or this last year, dinghy sailing (GREAT! We're falling in the water!)

As the weather cools down, though, things get a little more complicated. Body seems to have an inherent desire to stay home, cook, eat, & hibernate. Mind knows this is not really a feasible plan for either physical or mental well-being:

Mind: Ah, the forecast is for sunny, and the windspeeds are...
Body: It's effin' cold out there. Forget it. Wanna stay home.
Mind: Oh, come on now, we've got all the proper gear, we'll take the thermoses of cider and soup, you'll be as snug and warm as you need to be, it's going to be a lovely day & it would be better for us to get outside & get you moving.
Body: We'll die of hypothermia. We'll get eaten by a polar bear. Let's stay home on the couch. No polar bears in this apartment. Nice couch though. Nice fuzzy blue throw. We can curl up under that, nice and warm. And we can finish off the chocolate TQ brought last week.
Mind: There are no polar bears in Jamaica Bay.
Body: There is ice in Jamaica Bay. Polar Bears live where there is ice. Therefore, we may get eaten by a polar bear.
Mind: Oh, dear. Would you please leave the logic to me?
Body: I'll leave the logic to you if you'll leave the gut instinct to me. I have a gut, you don't. And Gut says that now that we've worked hard all summer hunting and gathering, drying and canning, pickling & preserving & lining the larder, now it's time to rest, preserving our energy for staying alive through the long cold...
Mind: STOP IT! We are not a hunter-gatherer! We are a finance analyst! We spend five days a week with our okole firmly planted on an office chair in a flourescently-lit, centrally-heated cubicle, crunching numbers!
Body: Oh...yeah. Sorry. I forgot. Wow, that's tough work crunching numbers all day. C'mon, why don't we just take off these sneakers, curl up on the couch with a good book, maybe pop some cookies in the oven just to get the place smelling extra-comfy, oh, here, let me pour you a nice glass of Shiraz...
Mind: Mmmm, Shiraz...berry and vanilla oak...subdued earthy tones...
Body: yeah, displayed in perfect harmony with fine cannons...
Mind: Tannins, silly. But yes. Perfect harmony, fine tannins, hmm, and some of that bittersweet chocolate TQ brought us, with the dried cranberries and hazelnuh...haze...HEY! What are you trying to pull?
Body: (looking innocently skyward & making "who me" mug) Oh, nothing, just...
Mind: Just trying to pull a fast one on us, huh?
Body: No, you're the one who wants to go fast. I would like to sit still, and be warm, without wearing all that crap you make me wear when we go out this time year. Like you said, we're a finance analyst, we make O.K. money, we have this nice warm cozy snug apartment, why go through all the gear packing-up, thermos filling-up, weather checking-up BS - if the whole point is staying warm, there's a way easier way to do that & that's stay home with the sssssssteam heat! Ha. Smartypants mind, think you're so smart, smart is as smart does...
Mind: Oh, come on, it's for our own good. You know we both really enjoy getting outside. Have I ever suggested an outside trip where we didn't both come back purring?
Body: Well, how 'bout the one where you forgot to put sunscreen on me and I ended up with a second-degree sunburn?
Mind: Well, ok, maybe we weren't exactly purring after that one...
Body: Yeah, more like whimpering all the way to the Bactine aisle at the Rite-Aid...
Mind: And you're never gonna let me forget it, are you?
Body: Darned straight, lady. So let's avoid the golf-ball sized blisters and...
Mind: Hey! OK, that one was my fault, never again, but you are not dragging sunburn woes into this argument when one of the things you're whining about is how I put all those layers and layers of clothing on you when you're happiest in a swimsuit & board shorts. Plus you never seem to care about the sunburn thing in the summertime...
Body: Well...that's 'cause most of the time you take good care of me - sunscreen, funny hats, long-sleeved shirts, lots of water.
Mind: Right. So you trust me on that in the summertime - whydon'cha gimme a break here on this going outside in the winter time. Come on. It'll be pretty. It'll be fun. And maybe you'll feel like falling in the water just to show what a tough bod you are. You know you like that.
Body: Weeellllll...
Mind: And if we don't we have to go run on the treadmill this week. You know we both hate the treadmill.
Body: You wouldn't...
Mind: Try me. Jeeze. You'd atrophy by April if I let you make these decisions. Then who'd be sorry?
Body: Uh...both of us?
Mind: Darned straight, lady.
Body: Well, ok then. But if we get eaten by a polar bear, I get to pick the last words and they're gonna be "Told you so, smarty!", OK?
Mind: You got it, ol' body, ol' pal. And just think how nice that snuggly blanket & glass of Shiraz will be when we get home after a good day outside! OK, now I'm emailing the gang, gonna make it a Plan, so there'll be no weaselling out at the last minute.
Body: Oh, come now, would I...
Mind:(raising a skeptical eyebrow)
Body: (grins sheepishly)...well, actually that's probably a good idea.

Epilogue -

Body & Mind: This is GREAT! Let's fall in the water!

They - or now that they're united, just plain she - splashes down, she sweep out, she rises whooping with glee, then charges off with her companions on the last quarter-mile to the Paerdegat, paddling in perfect harmony as the brants call from the shoreline and the setting sun sets the western sky aflame in gold and rose - cue music (Gone with the Wind-y type triumphal, you know the kind) - The End!

Closing note: Ethical standards demand that I acknowledge that the Shiraz description was not a product of my imagination, but was in fact lifted straight off the label of the bottle of Yellow Tail which happens to be hanging out in the kitchen. I appreciate a good glass of wine, but seldom verbalize that appreciation in anything resembling proper oenospeak.

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