Slippery When Wet

So that thing where you’re just walking along, casual as, minding your own chuff, and the next thing you know you’re on your arse or your side and all of a sudden your arm, leg or if you’re lucky, just your finger is at a funny angle? It’s time for that again.

There is a particular noise air makes as it leaves your lungs on impact with the pavement. A kind of dull whump. We’re really poorly designed for moving around in winter. We need little spikes on the bottom of our feet to give us traction on the ice. I thought about not cutting my toe nails but I’m spending quite enough on socks as it is. Our lungs would make excellent airbags if they were on the outside. They probably wouldn’t work as lungs if that were the case and they would look all horrible and weird. Thinking about it, I would probably hate that quite a lot. Little bags of bloody air hanging round the place, testing the gag reflexes of passers-by. Lovely.

No, we’re not supposed to move around in the snow and the ice. If we were, we’d do so more quickly, efficiently and easily than polar bears and wolves and other things with more pointy teeth and a keener appetite than us. We tamed fire so that we could have somewhere pleasant to sit when it’s cold and invented marshmallows so that we could have something pleasant to do while we were sitting. We found sharp things to stick into polar bears and wolves just about anything else that moved so that we might use bits of them to stay fed and warm in weather worse than we’re having now.

On the other hand, if you can stay on your feet, there is little better than a run across a snowy landscape. There is good traction on fresh snow. Pull on a pair of waterproof socks under your trail shoes, make sure you’re dressed warmly enough for going slowly and take your time to enjoy the views. All the usual dirt of the world is hidden by fresh snow. Everything seems new and unusual. You can’t take anything for granted. Sounds are muffled, partly by the snow itself and perhaps partly by that hat you need to pull down over your ears. Your footfalls crump in the snowy surface as you run along. If you turn around you can check to see how your feet are landing. I was horrified last winter when I saw that my feet land quite so “toe-out” and I’m actually splay-footed as I run. I thought I was much more in line than that.

I will leave you with The Commodores and Slippery When Wet because taking care of business seems like a much better idea than falling on your arse on the first icy day of winter.

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