Unexpected moments of synchrony hiding in blizzard runs

Running in a blizzard is about as miserable as it sounds. The snow is pelting you in the face, the ground is getting slick, and the wind cuts through your dampening gear.

But not always.

There is a magic moment hidden in the blizzard that you’ll experience if you stick with it long enough. In an instant, the entire experience can transform from misery to ecstasy. Let me explain…

Most of your running in a snow storm involves battling the conditions. You are pushing through the wind, squinting through the snow, choosing your steps, and trying to maintain your core body heat. It’s a fight.

But if the wind speed is just right, if the trail turns at just the right angle, if the flakes are fat and light, if your pace is perfect, something incredible happens.

In an instant, you cease to be a part of the opposition and your body synchronizes with the storm. You are moving but the air seems to stand still, the snow perfectly matching your strides. Time slows, the frozen parachutes rise and fall, bob and dance around you. You feel the same pull of gravity as the snow, but you are lighter somehow, every step lifts you back in the air, you float there, suspended above a spinning planet.

Then you turn a corner, the synchronization collapses, and you are thrown back into the chaos and misery.

Sometimes life feels like a blizzard. You have trouble getting out of bed, and you struggled to summon the energy to face the work waiting at school or the office.

I think the reason we do it, day after day, is because we have experienced synchronization within the storm. We maintain a belief that if the conditions align we can do work we are proud of.

So we put on our snow gear and show up. We face the office politics, the slick ground where one misstep can send you tumbling into a ditch or tripping into oncoming traffic. Squinting through tears we might just see a path through the storm. We endure, believing that around the next curve is the creative breakthrough we crave. We may not be able to avoid the blizzard, but within the chaos we might just find brief moments of synchrony.

This story first appeared in Letter Zero, my personal mailing list for friends. The membership (or perhaps I should say friendship) is free, and I’d love to add you to my list. Stay creative.

Author of User Zero: Inside the Tool that is Reshaping Dystopia