cold old lady/heat overdrive runner

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

“How many loads do you have tonight?!”  Her face was a mask of indignation, her voice rising sharply to almost-a-shout as she spoke. 

“Three.”  I said it in my friendliest voice, wishing we didn’t have to go there again.  But she couldn’t help it – the number of loads I brought to the laundry room our building shared shocked her.  It just SHOCKED her.  She quizzed me about it every time we ran into each other there.  Though I was careful never to use more than two machines at a time, she was still mortified that one single lady could make so darn much dirty laundry. 

I wanted to defend myself – to remind her that while she was retired, I was at the active part of my life.  I had running clothes.  Work clothes.  Casual clothes for after work.  Pajamas.  Lots of days I wore all four of those classes of clothes – in 2 and 3 layers most of the time, even.  My sleeping attire at the time consisted of:  wool socks.  Sweat pants.  T-shirt.  Hoodie (and I wore the hood up.)  Stocking cap (yes, I wore it indoors, under the hood that was up.)  Lightweight gloves (yes, I slept in them most every night.)  This was before I had G to warm me up at night, and that was my usual sleeping attire – nighttime makes me cold.  So, while I wore the same pajamas many nights in a row, when it was washing time, my pajamas alone were half a load. 

I thought of all that with a grin today, as I was grappling with my layers for the office.  It is January and I am cold.  My office heat is turned up enough that I am teased daily about how hot it is in there.  Still, to cope with my coldness, I am the queen of layers.  Today’s ensemble:  Footless tights.  Over those, regular tights.  Over those, warm socks that would fit under my boots and not stick out the top.  Dress snow boots.  Heavy skirt that was long enough to meet the tops of the snow boots.  Camisole, under turtleneck sweater, under dress jacket. 

I did not get hot at all.  Not even in my allegedly overheated office.  I am definitely aging into a cold old lady – but only when I am sitting still! 

Take our morning run as an opposite example.  It was 12 degrees out this morning when G and I headed out to do our 2 miles.  Sure, I layered up.  Warm wool socks under my mesh running shoes.  Running tights, rated for cold weather.  Running pants.  UnderArmour long-sleeved shirt.  Fleece overshirt.  Mittens.  Headband (not hat).  And my ridiculous face protector.  It’s not enough clothes for just walking around…while we did our first few minutes of warm-up walking, I could feel the cold pressing in on all sides, trying to worm its way inside my clothes.  The exposed top of my head was tingling with cold.  My eyeballs were cold. 

But I just laughed at that.  “Let me run a few minutes,” I told G, “and my body heat will push it all so far out that it cannot touch me.”  i know this from experience.  Sure enough, within half a block of running, the cold disappeared and I was comfortable.  Before the end of the first mile, I started getting hot and had to pull down my face protector so I could suck refreshing cold air in – soon, I took it off altogether, so that the air would reach my neck.  Movement turns me into a mega-heat producer.  By the time we got home, my face was glowing red and my hair was soaked through with sweat…this, despite the air being so cold that my sinuses let loose and I had to blow my nose in my mitten repeatedly to keep from choking/gagging on it. 

I don’t get that.  How can such a cold old lady be such a heat overdrive?  How can movement make so much difference?

There is no great spiritual point tonight.  Just me, pondering the strangeness of middle age.  I was never a complainer about being cold, before 30.  Our bodies are very interesting things, eh? 

At least I know what to do if I’m ever stuck in a dangerously cold situation.  25 jumping jacks every few minutes, and I’ll have all the heat I need to survive! 

Sorry, you’ll never get back the 5 minutes you wasted on this one.  🙂 


  1. Laurie says:

    Color me jealous – hot non stop and burning inferno if I move……..I can’t get enough clothes off to get cool. Been that way since I carried Meredith at age 30. I attribute it to the extra estrogen God was knitting together as a flip of the switch. People in my office come warm their hands on my neck, my arms….ridiculous, but glad to be useful 🙂

  2. Cindy Maynard says:

    This is hilarious!!! I am for the most part a furnace. And with menopause it is way worse. I love to have the ladies at church with cold hands cool my cheeks. I am usually always warm, EXCEPT for my office. It is FFFFRRREEEEEEZZZIIINNNNGGGG in here. I cannot get warm most of the time. I think it is due to sitting and being immobile. So it is funny how God created these bodies, isn’t it?
    I’m sure he gets a chuckle or two over me.

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