I have never been good at sitting still. To this day, I cannot sit through a movie that is longer than an hour and a half – once a friend tricked me to into watching a movie by telling me it was a tv show, knowing I would refuse to even try to sit for two straight hours. I watched the whole thing, taking frequent breaks to wander around the house. As an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I was able to – sometimes forced to due to my lack of vehicular transportation – burn off some of that jittery energy by walking everywhere. But when the sidewalks, and sometimes a large portion of the road, are covered with waist-high piles of snow, that option disappears. Which has made surviving winter in the Copper Country trying, to say the least.
I know the first day of spring has come and gone, but with more than 50 inches of snow still on the ground it was hard to get into the spirit. But then, just a few days ago, I walked outside to the most glorious sound I have heard since my mom said we could get a puppy – snow melting! I don’t care what the groundhog says, to me that signals that it’s spring.
Spring is commonly said to be a time of renewal and, once you’re done wading through the leftover winter salt and dirt, it’s easy to see why. The sky abandons its winter gray and turns a far more pleasing blue. Plants start sprouting, the critters come back out and you can start to feel the sun tingling on your skin when you step outside. After a frigid winter, it’s the best feeling I can imagine and it feels like a better time for resolutions and renewals than New Year’s Eve.
We’re almost four full months into the year and I know my vague afterthoughts that qualified as New Year’s resolutions have withered long ago under the blanket of snow just like the plants I am so looking forward to seeing. When resolutions involve fitness goals, the refreshing change in weather can be much more motivational than trying to regularly brave the cold for outdoor activities or work up the energy to get to a gym. After a cold winter full of homemade mac and cheese, my fitness resolutions definitely need to be revisited.
Luckily, almost all of my favorite spring activities involve getting outside. I am looking forward to taking my recently renewed outdoor runs from the surprisingly grueling hills of Hancock to the slightly gentler terrain of McLain State Park. My tennis racquets will need a good dusting off after being stashed in the closet since November but then I will be more than ready to hit some outdoor courts. Every year I hope to be able to go swimming far sooner than is feasible and I invariably jump in a lake in April, usually resulting in a nice spring cold. Regardless of your interests the Copper Country offers plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the late breaking spring weather.
When I lived in Madison, I loved transplanting my studying from the library to the famous colored tables and chairs of the Memorial Union. Located on the shores of Lake Mendota, the Union is a beloved location for many Wisconsin students and its many distractions – people watching, sailing and kite boarding lessons, cold pitchers of beer and locally made ice cream are just few – frequently stole my attention from my books, resulting in even longer hours at one of my favorite places.
While I no longer need to study for finals every spring, the English major in me refuses to give up the habit of incessant reading and I continue to move myself outdoors as soon as the weather lets me.
While there may still be a little too much snow for a proper Easter egg hunt, unless you forego dying the shells, I think it is safe to say that spring is upon us.