Who’s afraid of a little rain?
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I busily packed for a family run, desperate to get out of the house after a long day at school.
Drinks and snacks for both kids. Warm layers. Blanket and binky for the youngest. Couple of toys. Diaper? Yep, better not take the chance.
With a 9-month-old cradled in one arm and a bag of the aforementioned dangling from the other I plead with my daughter to help open the door. We make our way down the stairs to our Chariot running stroller.
I strap in Zeke and ask Selah to get in. I stuff in our supplies and ready myself for the run.
My cell phone rings. My wife Joy is on her way to Carbondale and warns me about a torrential downpour of rain. Go south, not north, she tells me.
The rain is spotty so if you go south you’ll be safe.
I ask Selah about going to a park in south Glenwood Springs – parks being our usual destination on a family run, I figure the least we can do is find a dry one.
No, Selah insists on going north, directly into the dark storm clouds I see looming over West Glenwood.
I make a request for a different park but I am quickly vetoed by my three-year-old.
Instead of arguing I run upstairs and grab rain jackets for all of us and an extra layer and gloves for me. Here we go.
As we cruise along the Roaring Fork River I fall into a familiar cadence from years of running.
Fears of drenched, hypothermic kids still rest in the back of my mind, but I assure myself that we will be able to find shelter somewhere along the trail. At the very least, maybe we could hitch a ride.
Who wouldn’t pick up a dad and two little kids in a thunderstorm?
Rather than play it conservatively, I up my tempo, determined to run away the stresses of the day and set my sights on a distant park along the trail.
After half an hour of running the rain hasn’t materialized, although Mount Sopris and the upper valley looks like it’s engulfed in a Lord of the Rings-like storm.
We arrive at Two Rivers Park and find the place empty.
The toys are dry, the temperature perfect and the kids are excited to play.
Recently, the parks have been jam-packed with kids and parents eager to get their kids out of the house. I feel like we’ve won the lottery because we have the park to ourselves on one of the most beautiful days of spring.
It’s in that moment I realize how valuable it is to take chances in life.
As my in-laws say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. I might add bad attitudes as well.
There are many days when the rain falls or the temperature drops and it’s easy to shy away from the more challenging endeavors in life. Those challenges are what many people look forward to, but are also easily dropped when something gets in the way.
During a recent early morning cross-country practice, the kids moaned and groaned when faced with a difficult track workout and the pitter patter of rain outside. I encouraged them to marvel in their surroundings and to be glad that they are able to do what they can do, rain or shine.
At the end of the workout we all made a mad dash for the warm confines of the school. Some kids didn’t want to go inside and smiles abounded as the team talked with excited fervor about the feeling they had running in the rain.
My legs were tired and my arms were stiff with the cold, but we all laughed about our time on the track.
On that spring day at Two Rivers Park the rain didn’t touch us. Dark storm clouds ringed the valley but stayed at bay. The kids climbed up and down, swung, slid and dug in the dirt with childish joy until I packed them up for the run home.
The kids were happy and I was happy.
It was a beautiful afternoon and I was glad we took a chance, grabbed the rain gear and got out the door.
You just can’t be afraid of a little rain.
– Mike Schneiter is a Glenwood Springs H.S. teacher and coach, owner of Glenwood Climbing Guides and is a Brooks Inspire Daily athlete.
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