Every year I look forward to and embrace Labor Day for the landmark it really is: the countdown kickoff until summer is officially over. Don’t let the end of “summer hours” fool you, there’s still some time before Fall officially arrives on September 22nd. And I, for one, have been waiting for this day since mid-May, because I. Hate. Summer. There, I said it!
I’ve heard them all before… “Happiness-hater,” “Whitewalker,” “Leaf-killer” (that one stings a bit). I’m sorry but I’m not sorry for my seasonal proclivity—as soon as the temps start heading north of 75, I turn into molasses. Hot, sticky subways, sleep sweats, fighting with the little old lady at the grocery store for the last pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia (it was supposed to be mine, Gladys!), I leave it all to the birds.
And running? Well, let me tell you a little about running in New York City during the throes of summer: it’s the worst. The humidity chokes the joy out of hitting the road, trail, or path. Of course the treadmill beckons but that would mean leaving the comfort of my air conditioning and going outside to actually get to the gym. That’s a commitment I’m just not ready for. Sure, there are those moments after a particularly great run when the heat and sweat you’ve accumulated sheens like a badge of honor… for about five minutes before having to suffer through a cold shower for the next 30 minutes. I’ll take wind burn and a frozen beard over that any day of the week (and twice on Sundays!). I relish the day I get to don my running jacket, throw on a beanie and some thermals and hit the road. The paths are quieter, the people friendlier, and I challenge you to find something more refreshing than a hot shower after a cold run.
So as you all start saying goodbye to the last few days of summer, dreading those runs when the temperature outside hits 14 degrees with the wind chill, know that I’m out there, somewhere, playing Chariots of Fire and flying like the wind.
Steven Boriack is not a leaf-killer. He lives, runs, and hides from the sun in New York City.