Looking Forward To Spring (And Not Falling Back)…

Posted by on Feb 18, 2011 in Dreams, Life | One Comment

One of my favorite rites of spring: the Gate River Run 15K. This is from my first-ever Gate, in March 2001.

You’d think on the first morning of a four-day weekend, I’d bury my head under the covers, deny the outside world, and be content outwitting my virtual foes at Words With Friends. Normally, those few-and-far-between days off go something like that. But spring was in the air this Friday morning … or, in the case of my house, paint fumes (subject for another blog post, coming soon). So I sprang to action, coughed a little, and made amends for skipping my running date with myself last night.

I was to tackle six miles in my normal Mandarin loop. But running at 9 a.m. is a much different proposition than starting at 6 a.m., or even 8 p.m., especially in the climatological limbo we call mid-February. Mother Nature’s still cold and unfeeling for the most part this time of year, but even she is not immune to hot flashes.

It was disgusting-warm the moment I passed through my front door. But I was determined to forsake comfort for sweat, shin pain, and the latest podcast from This American Life, perfectly timed to my sub-hour run.

A hard run it was, but I realized that perhaps the worst of the deep-freeze curve balls had been thrown, and the world would soon return to full bloom with spring. We’re still a month out from the official start to spring (or did the seasons change along with the signs of the zodiac?). But my run … and the accompanying freezing-cold shower to get those endorphins rushing … meant more than shin splints. In many ways, it was a new beginning, all over again.

Pretty soon, it’ll be time to fish out the Toro from the tool shed and carve up the back yard, apply Weed-N-Feed, and, dare I say, attempt some rudimentary landscaping. It’ll be time to revisit Conch House on Sunday afternoons. Play Frisbee in Memorial Park on the same Sunday afternoon, after church. Practice tailgating at UF before the Orange & Blue Game. Engineer weekend road trips to the Keys. Host another Easter egg hunt in my neatly manicured (once aforementioned Toro has had its way) back lawn. Throw the Giant into the back of the Highlander for 30-miler Saturday mornings on Baldwin Trail. And on, and on, and on.

I used to think the fall was my favorite time of year, with college football’s return and the holidays flickering on the horizon. But let’s table those arguments and look at semantics for a moment (as all competent writers should do frequently). Fall seems to be the only season that has a synonym, autumn. And I think that’s because the word “fall” isn’t such a flattering word. Stumbling and falling are hardly inspiring visions. Spring has a jumpy, almost Tigger-esque quality to it. A vibrant, unbridled energy that’s just begging to be tapped. Fall or autumn, by comparison, almost has a neurotic, overprogrammed connotation.

And since I’m checking my own ingrained neuroticism at the door in 2011, it seems natural that I “look forward” to spring, and not “fall back” onto negative habits.

Did you ever think semantics would win out over football in the Magee household?

What does spring mean to you? What do you look forward to most this time of year?



1 Comment

  1. Raquel
    February 24, 2011

    Spring…green grass peeking out from yellow, bright sunrises warming the beach, a bright red Cardinal fellow, hiding among red maple blooms…a carpet of pollen making me itch, another trip to TargEt to buy Claritin. — Love your Spring Forward blog prompt. (When do we change the time so I can stay longer at the beach?) Looking forward to the next entry.