The temperature read -9˚, without the windchill. As we drove through the darkness towards our destination, she looked at me and asked, “What are we doing??”
I replied with a grin, “LIVING!”
It was Saturday night, and we were 150 miles from home, getting ready to go for a candlelight ski in subzero temps. Ice candles lined the groomed cross country ski trails at Carlos State Park, and the moon was casting shadows from above. The cold bit at my fingertips and burned in my lungs, but as we wound our way along the shoreline, our skis swishing across the snow underfoot, I felt entirely alive and awake. We approached the warming house, where a bonfire crackled and spit sparks into the night sky. Conversations swirled around us as friends and families shared stories and jokes. The camaraderie among this group of hearty Minnesotans was undeniable. There was no doubt that this frigid night on the trail was cause for celebration. And in that instant, I found myself filled with a strong sense of admiration for the vitality of our state and those who call it home.
Hours later, after the skis were off and the color had returned to our cheeks, we sat in a corner table at our favorite wine bar with another friend. We shared snippets of our lives, a plate of bruschetta and sips from each others glasses. The warmth of the moment contrasted sharply with our earlier adventure. For the second time that night, a wave of awareness rolled through my mind. I felt awake, and entirely alive.
Sometimes, all it takes is willingness to jump in the car for a last minute road trip with your best friend and hit trails on a freezing cold night to realize that life is at your front door, knocking. This winter, get out of your comfort zone. Leave what you know. Be willing to take a risk. Do what you’re afraid. Get cold. Then warm up. Be uncomfortable. LIVE!
Cheers to the Winter Bucket List, and another item crossed off of it…
go for a candlelit ski at a local park