A winter’s day

IMG_0498This is my second winter running. These short days seem to move along more quickly when I spend time outdoors. Not that I want my life to rush by, but winter up here shows us the sun only rarely. Usually, the horizon simply merges into a flat, grey expanse of sky, without any variation or texture.

But on the trail, there are other stimuli, even on the days that aren’t as beautiful as this one. My footfalls make that distinct “crunch” in the mix of frozen-over snow and gravel. A head lamp helps pick out the icy patches—so far. I can’t listen to music, so I hear the wind, my breathing, the trail. The breathing is the tough part.

As time has passed since the mass child-murder in Connecticut, I’ve calmed down, but only a little. I’m done with rants like my previous posts, I think. The NRA’s chief seems have committed himself to an un-ironic “Poe“, one on which he continuously tosses more dangerous absurdity.

Tomorrow night my house will be filled with little kids—or it will at last seem that way. PalKid is having a couple of friends for a sleep over, a term with real irony. They’ll have a blast, and the clean-up will last for days. For kids, vacations are a stationary paradise, one mixed with fun, boredom, and hopefully safety and love.

For my part, I’m going to work on a few things in my head, things that will probably come up while running and not during the two half-days we’ll close the office. A patient the other day asked me something about Dr. Oz (I can’t remember what) and I basically told him it was all bullshit. In fact, I’m noticing a few things about people, things I’ve known but I’m really starting to believe. Patients who believe in quackery for the most part will always believe in it. Most of my patients though, actually seek my advice, and if I tell them a particular supplement or treatment is a waste, they believe me. I won’t give up completely on converting the credulous, but I’m going to work on ways of speaking the truth about quackery to all my patients, and perhaps a few will let go of some misplaced hopes and bet on a more likely winner.

For now, though, I’m sticking to the trail and working on the breathing, because once you’ve got that down, the rest will follow.

1 Comment

  1. Gerard Robertson

     /  January 27, 2013

    I enjoy your writing, thanks. My wife is an anaesthetist, as we call them in the colonial world, while I’m an aeronautical engineer, so we often compare norms of professions.

    From outside the States, it is hard to comprehend the gun lobby, while your TV does little to dissuade the view that every American household has an Uzi in the kitchen and a bazooka under the stairs.

    Would it be unkind of me to comment on the heat here in New Zealand at present? We don’t get proper winters in Auckland. I did enjoy living in France, where one got “proper” seasons and the chance to try cross-country skiing.

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