By Dom Cioffi
This is the time of year when the outside temperatures begin to drop to uncomfortable levels, meaning extra care must be taken so life doesn’t get too distressing.
Anytime the thermometer settles below the 32-degree mark, you have to grab that cold weather parka, you have to start warming up your vehicle prior to going anywhere, and you have to submit to the idea that normal outdoor activities will drop to a minimum.
In fact, unless you force yourself into seasonal sports like skiing or snowshoeing, you’re going to end up cooped up indoors for many, many months
Personally, it took me years before I embraced the cold.
As a student in grade school, high school and college, my winter activity was basketball, which is obviously carried out in the confines of a heated gym. I rarely ventured near the mountains and wouldn’t be caught dead on a rink (mostly because I couldn’t ski or skate).
In fact, the only outdoor wintertime activities I ever engaged in were the occasional jaunts to the local golf course for weekend sledding.
I viewed the cold as my enemy – something to be avoided and fought against at all costs. So why on earth would I unnecessarily subject myself to cold temperatures when the pleasant atmosphere of a cozy gym was readily available?
This attitude continued into my 20s until my wife finally coerced me up to the mountain to ski. That lasted for two or three visits before I abruptly announced that being on skis was one of the most awkward experiences of my life.
The next weekend I strapped on a snowboard and I’ve never looked back.
I took to snowboarding like it was second nature (I attribute this to natural coordination and years of riding a skateboard during my youth). There was something so poetic about being on the board that I could never capture on skis.
Ultimately, snowboarding was the first activity that ever made me want to go out into the cold. It got to the point where I craved getting up early to catch fresh powder. And while there were times when seriously low temps would hamper the enjoyment factor, more often than not, I derived plenty of physical warmth through the exertion of carving turns.
Thus, snowboarding opened the door.
After a few years, I started running in extreme cold weather – something I had always avoided previously. I’ve now had moments while running when the cold air seemed to burn my lungs and yet the exhilaration I felt was unlike anything I had ever experienced.
Now, one of my favorite cold weather activities (when the nighttime temps drop to severely sub-zero levels) is to bundle up and walk into the crisp night air. I love the sound of trees cracking as the blistering cold temps wreak havoc on the natural world.
Recently, I heard about a man named Wim Hof, who is known as The Iceman because of his ability to withstand intensely cold temperatures.
Hof, who was born in the Netherlands, started experimenting with cold temperatures after the suicide of his first wife. She had been horribly depressed and spiritually unhealthy. Once she passed, Hof went on a quest to find the answer to happiness through enduring extreme situations.
To date, he has performed such extraordinary acts as staying submerged in ice for nearly two hours, climbing Mount Everest in his shorts, and racing in a half marathon in Artic conditions while barefoot.
His life story and feats of icy endurance are legendary. And even more impressive is that fact that science has solidified his claims that his mind can overrun the limitations of his body.
This week’s film, “Steve Jobs,” focuses on another man who is known for his icy demeanor.
Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen, “Steve Jobs” takes an interesting look at the life and personality of the Apple Computer leader, widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s most compelling individuals.
Told through the heated conversations that supposedly occurred prior to the three biggest product releases in Jobs’ career, “Steve Jobs” attempts to personalize the man behind the myth and bring a better understanding of the influences that drove him to succeed.
Fans of the Apple world will undoubtedly engulf this film. Others who are less tied to the computer company may find it a bit harder to swallow given the unconventional take and limited treatment of his entire life story.
Check this one out if you bought a Newton, know what a G3 is or are in any way stressed about which original iMac color to purchase.
A chilly “B-” for “Steve Jobs.”
Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at [email protected]