Frost Bite


Somewhere around 1986/87, my family spent a weekend in the Muskoka’s.  We’d pack up inner-tubes, GT-snowracers, crazy carpets, and every ounce of warm clothes we owned; plus a group of friends to spend three days in a winter-wonderland.  Every year, I looked forward to this trip, but every year I remembered just how cold Canada could get.

The Lodge in the Summer

The lowest temperature was 42 below CELSIUS one year, and we were out doing jumps on our GT’s.  There is nothing more exhilarating than essentially sitting on two skies and taking off down a 45 degree hill, hitting a 45 degree jump and soaring through the air on the other side hoping to land on both skies.   So exhilirating, that I wouldn’t notice the loss of feeling in the tips of my fingers or toes.

This one particular year, we came in to warm up and I remember taking my boots off and propping my feet up on the fire to “thaw.”  Fire felt sooo good…and I usually had a hot chocolate to warm my hands.  It was bliss until the sensation started to return.  The sensation never returns gradually, with ease, with a cozy defrosting of your extremities; it comes back like daggers, being launched at every millimeter of your skin.

A pain that has not words.

Why I moved to VA…

I think people spend a lot of time consumed with things that are exhilarating; looking for ways to dull the pain.  The minute the sensation starts to return, the pain is so intense they go about finding ways to numb it again; how some people spend their entire lives.  I would have given anything to numb the pain of my feet defrosting, but the reality is, I had to thaw if I wanted my toes to live.

We can avoid feeling all we might want, but we have to thaw if we truly want to live.  Frost bite hurt, but I did it to myself; and in order for it not to leave lasting damage, I had to endure the pain and allow the feeling to return.

Often what is easy in life is the very thing that could kill us.  How many times have you found yourself wanting to numb the pain and avoid feeling because it just seemed easier?

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