It is a well-documented fact that I tend to suffer crises of motivation during the summer months. Windchills below zero? Eight inches of snow? Miserable, freezing sleet? Sign me up! I will be out there, wearing just enough clothing to stave off frostbite, having a lovely time.
As the temperature and humidity creep up, however, my mood and motivation head in the opposite direction. I do not like running in the blazingly hot summer sun. I do not like how, even after the sun goes down, it’s still 87 degrees with 90% humidity. I do not like the way heat radiates off the pavement. I do not like how after it rains, steam leaps off the pavement to suffocate me. I do not like the bug bites.
I do not like it, Sam I am. (Dr. Seuss? Anyone?)
This is the time of year where I start to ponder…things. Crazy things. Like becoming an aqua jogger until September. Like making DDR my primary method of training. Like shaving my head. Like moving to a colder climate, or maybe just not running unless the temperature dips below 60 degrees.
Last weekend, however, I think I found a way to reconcile myself to summer running. In a step ever-so-slightly more rational and socially acceptable than shaving my head, I’ve rid myself of a burden heavier than I even knew. Last weekend, I got a haircut.
At the time, I didn’t realize the potential impact it would have on running. I am never more cheap or more lazy than when it comes to caring for my hair. It typically gets trimmed a few times a year, those times being determined either by when it drives me absolutely crazy, when even I notice the split ends, or when I wear it in a sloppy ponytail to work for 10 consecutive days. These are the signs I rely on to tell me that my hair is too frickin’ long and it’s time for a trim.
This time, I was motivated by the trifecta. (1) It’s 90 degrees. Having long hair in such a time was quickly driving me batty. (2) It hadn’t been cut since January. Um, yeah. (3) It was far too long for me to even attempt to “style” (add “hair incompetent” to the “hair lazy” and”hair cheap” list), so I’d been washing it and forcing it into a ponytail for longer than I’d like to admit.
Off I went to a local hair cuttery. When the stylist asked me what I wanted, I uttered one potentially dangerous word — shorter. Much, much shorter. She asked me if I wanted layers, and I made a face. They always say layers will “soften my face” and “give direction to my hair,” but what I always see when they get done is a pseudo mullet. My hair is super, super fine…so if the layers are short, the result is distinctly and unfortnately redneck. I shared this with the stylist, who laughed and promised not to mulletize me.
When she was done, I experienced a post-haircut emotion that was entirely new to me…satisfaction. She did it! My hair had a “style” that I could probably replicate, and the 6-7 inches of hair on the floor told me that it was much, much shorter indeed.
I bounced out of the hair cuttery, and later that evening husband and I set out for a run. This was Saturday evening, the time of the temperature and humidity mentioned above. Husband trudged through the thick and stifling air, making comments appropriate to the situation. By comparison, I was skipping along beside him. “Wow!” I said. “This is great! There’s no heavy hair in my way. It feels so much cooler!” Husband looked at me like I was losing my mind, so I demonstrated my newfound powers by agreeing to run an extra mile (this never happens with me) and then closing the run with negative splits. “This is going to change my whole summer,” I said after I raced him up a hill to a 7:38 final split. I think Husband believed me now.
The best thing about the new ‘do is the completely adorable ponytail it makes. It’s so tiny!
Try to ignore the geeky/dorky face I’m making. Just thinking about the ponytail in all its adorableness cracks me up. It’s hard not to giggle while contemplating it…or needlessly pointing to it in one of the sillier pictures ever posted to this blog.
And just by way of comparison, here’s a look at the before and after:
Mark my words: it will change my view of summer. And I didn’t even have to shave my head.
PS An update on the pity party — the knife wound is basically healed. The spider bite is healing, but it has a ways to go. My word of advice — never get bitten by a spider. They do not mess around.