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Forced day off Saturday due to some super slush and my desire not to crack my head open on unshoveled sidewalks. Though not so good for well being, a cracked head would’ve complemented my cracked heart. Last week my 21-year old cousin passed away. It’s a horrible loss to the family. Last week he was here. Now he’s not and that’s hard to swallow. It makes me feel like a scribbled bleh to think about it, but what else is there to do?

Sunday was perfect running weather and the crowded park reflected that. Normally crowds drive me crazy but I barely noticed as I circled the park once then twice. I stopped after 8.5 miles and walked home. My heart wasn’t in the run so despite the extra day off every step felt like a chore. I never regret running, but this was one of the few that didn’t make me feel better. Not that I wanted to feel better. Losing someone should feel bad, but at some point you have to process and put his absence somewhere.

Yoga kind of helps with that in an indirect way. After about 20 minutes of following a routine, I practice the crow pose. This I can hold for a few minutes, during which time grief starts becoming something I can start wrapping my head around without dwelling on the loss all at once. It takes a lot of concentration to not tense up or put too much weight on any one place. I have to breathe into the arms and wrists to steady when they start to shake. I’m working on strengthening my arms and core so I can eventually start trying to go into a handstand from a crow. To me, this seems harder than practicing against a wall, but it also forces you to learn how to maintain full control from the beginning so the longer learning curve may be worth it.

Yoga doesn’t wipe away sadness, but it does help hold the mind and body together. I’m always looking for routines that engage the whole body to warm up those lesser used muscles. Since I’ve started doing it daily, I’ve noticed my legs are less heavy after runs. Maybe this means I’m running more efficiently by using more muscles or maybe my legs are finally getting stronger.

Now it’s maybe blizzarding outside. There was already a thin layer of snow when we ran this morning. The snow is super chunky. Catch a snowflake and you’ll see some look like three snow flakes joined forces to form a super flake. That’s if you can catch a snowflake. Winds are about 20 mph.

We finally caved in and went to the grocery store even though our pantry is pretty well stocked. As soon as I hear the word “blizzard” I think of the empty store shelves by my dad because his rural area always loses power and so people always panic and buy enough food to last the winter. Our store was packed, too, but as we haven’t lost power in the 10 years since I’ve lived in the neighborhood, panic did not inform my food buying choices. I couldn’t help looking in other people’s baskets and noting they concurred. Lots of bags of cookies and crunchies, hummus all around and taco fixings – the fun foods you get for a cozy day at home.

I started some split pea soup in the slow cooker then we went to the park for some evening sledding. Tomorrow is probably a snow day so the hill will be packed with kids, but tonight was mostly adults. The slush from the weekend created a lovely layer of ice under today’s snow and we flew down the hills. I prefer the ones without trees so I can ride hands up without worry. Made the mistake of closing my eyes against the snow walking back up the hill and MoonPie ran me over riding hands-free, too. He broke my fall so this was an injury-free day. For me. He got a little clobbered.

Even though we weren’t extremely close, I miss my cousin. I wish he were alive to enjoy the snow after work. I wish his dad didn’t have to go through what he’s going through right now. He pops in and out of my head during runs, during yoga, when I’m cooking, speeding down a hill or just breathing. He’s always welcome. It’s the closest I’ll ever get now to doing these things with him.

Running Total: 143 miles