Not a cloud in the sky and 0 degrees? Off to the woods for a run! Haven't switched to winter tires yet and the road is slippery? No problem! With a prayer and a Swede behind the wheel, anything is possible!
Running 10 km in the woods with a previously injured foot felt like someone was waging a psychological war on me. I spent every second of the first half hour asking myself if my foot hurt, trying to relax and turn my lower leg to cooked spaghetti, and jumping from one side of the hilly path to the other to avoid the huge water puddles that had frozen over, forming a delicate surface.
A boxing match was taking place inside of me. In the right corner of the ring, a crazy-eyed brawler warming up by doing jumping jacks and throwing uppercuts. In the left corner, the rookie underdog trying to look cool by shaking off the tension in his shoulders and twisting his head this way and that. The fear that my foot was still injured was about to face off with an emerging, triumphant, primal joy of being back on my feet, the hope that this time I might win.
After 3 rounds of sticking and moving, the brawler tires. The underdog closes in, ducks to avoid a jab and answers with a haymaker that fells the brawler to the floor. The judge counts to eight, the bell rings, ding ding, ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. My foot holds -just about-, the sun is shining and my shoes are muddy. Just the way it should be.