GROUNDHOG DAY IS BEHIND US AND, ALTHOUGH FOR MANY MORE WINTER WAS PREDICTED, it’s time to anticipate spring. In just under 6 weeks, on March 20, 2018 the Vernal Equinox will occur, and the hours experienced in daylight will equal those in darkness. Why wait so long to celebrate increasing light? Meteorological Spring arrives March 1. “The Brightening” arrived February 4. The Brightening?
The Earned Runs blog post on this date last year, February 8, 2017, featured a novel idea put forth in a Backpacker.com item that the seasons be reconfigured so that outdoor enthusiasts could make the most of daylight hours. The first day of “The Brightening” season, an earlier spring equivalent, was proposed as February 4 each year. Backpacker.com described it as the “glorious season in which you can finally plan a trip without a triple set of headlamp batteries.”
The Earned Runs post explained that the item’s “writer does not call for chucking the old system but for using the daylight-based year to inform the backpacking world: don’t wait for ‘Spring’ to arrive to plan hikes. Longer days start with “The Brightening”.
Earned Runs urged outdoor lovers of other sports to take note and follow the backpacking community’s lead. “Runners and walkers might also benefit from considering the seasons in the same way as hikers. Although we are not as restricted to daylight hours in enjoying our outdoor activity, the proportion of the day in which the sun is above the horizon may affect enthusiasm and the planning of long or destination runs in nearby [or] getaway locations.”
Every winter at this time, the reasoning behind a daylight-based seasonal year and “The Brightening” might make good sense to those weary of darkness. We’ve learned from “The Weather Channel”, which has named winter storms since 2012 (the US National Weather Service refrains from this practice), that “LIAM” most recently made its way across the country. It’s a good bet that the rest of the alphabet will be put in play before winter weather is completely behind us. It might be more mentally and emotionally healthy to begin focusing on the positive aspects of February and March.
In the next few weeks some Earned Runs blog posts will go with the theme of making the most of daylight in terms of outdoor exercise. It won’t be strictly about running. Last year the post ended with this sentiment: “At the time of this post we will be in the season of Brightening; let’s celebrate and accelerate our timeline to enjoy the great outdoors.”
If you’re ready, Earned Runs will help with the acceleration.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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