Oh, how I hate the wind. I have done some very windy runs. Two years ago, I ran the Salt Flats 100 where there were wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour. It was a tough race and two-thirds of the runners dropped out.
This past weekend, I found myself pushing against more wind gusts although not as wicked as Salt Flats. I was running along the side of a canyon toward the mouth and the closer I got to the mouth the worse the wind became. This wasn’t surprising of course, but it was still unpleasant. It was strong enough to push me around a bit and to bring me to a walking pace as I came around a few of the bends.
The wind is the most frustrating weather condition for me, especially, when it comes in conjunction with rain, hail, or snow. I don’t mind rain hail and snow without the wind. I do mind the wind alone. Even a tail wind, is unlikely to be met with neutrality let alone gratitude. The wind is a tricky thing and changes direction in the mountains with each bend in the canyon or drop in elevation.
Why do I hate the wind so? Because there is nothing I can do about the wind. Nothing. A wind resistant jacket you say? I suppose it helps keep the chill out, but it doesn’t stop the fight.
The only intervention I have come up with is reframing. I have to look at the wind as an ally. Well, I don’t know if I can go that far without some therapy for the Post traumatic Stress of Salt Flats 100, but I need to see it as benefiting me in some way.
Changing our perspective to see things we don’t enjoy to a more beneficial or at least neutral way can decrease our overall stress, especially when it is something we have to deal with on a day to day basis.
How does the wind benefit me? It makes me stronger both physically and mentally. When I was fighting with the wind around the bends this last weekend, Salt Flats immediately came to mind and I thought, “It could be worse, I can get through this.” Any adversity makes it easier to deal with the next challenge. When it is similar in nature or even the exact same, it really helps our confidence to endure again. Physically, it’s like running hills.
Challenges make us stronger when we overcome them. Don’t back away. If you aren’t successful, try it again. Tenacity, it’s a good quality in a runner.