Gazelle Girl

Snow, Ice and... Yak Trax - Sole Sister Sonja continues her journey to Gazelle Girl

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - So, I’m not sure if I mentioned it in my first entry, but when I signed up for Sole Sisters – I didn’t realize that they walked/ran outside, in the WINTER.  I figured we’d be doing some “learning” and basic conditioning INSIDE.

Well, that thought was quickly put to rest with our first ‘run’ of the season.  A quick 2 miles, just to get everyone into the swing of things.  It wasn’t terribly bad.  I wasn’t properly dressed (considering what I know and do now) but I survived and wasn’t too put off to return.

I was out of town for work the following Saturday, so it was indoors on the treadmill for me.  But that 3rd week of training, I think it was that Wednesday or Thursday night I received our weekly email, and it had a link about how to properly layer.  I quickly started realizing that I wasn’t FULLY prepared for what we’d be facing.

I’d gotten a couple of items from the Sole Sister’s closet on our first meet up day, but options we’re limited – as I am a Full Figured/Plus Sized /42-J Bra Wearing Woman (but I’ll speak more on that in a future post).   I had long sleeve wicking shirts at home from some clearance sale that I’d caught years back and figured “Sonja, you live in Michigan – you can never go wrong with layers”….but my coat(s) were heavy, not light weight water-proof windbreakers.  My socks weren’t wicking or wool and let’s be honest, it was expected to be 2 – yes, TWO degrees out that Saturday; and roads and sidewalks would be covered with snow and ice.

In our Sole Sisters Facebook group there was a lot of talk about “breaking out Yak Trax”.  I had no clue what a Yak Trax was, after watching SmallFoot several times, I had very silly images of Yaks in my mind.  But I was sure these weren’t those.  They sounded expensive and complicated.  But I knew from how many people were talking about them that I would need them too.

I logged onto Amazon to do some research (I hate going into a store being totally green about a subject) only to find out that they weren’t really expensive at all (they start out around 20 bucks) and that having lived in Michigan my entire life, I probably should have had some years ago. (Yak Trax help create/maintain a grip in snow and ice).

So I headed out, bought the Yaks and some Wool Socks.   And $40 later did my first of many (ALL) cold-cold weather walks. 

On a typical “cold day” I now wear, a wicking pant and wicking long sleeve top, loose fitting yoga pants, a tee shirt, thicker shirt, my jacket, hat, gloves, wool socks and my Yaks.

Thing that was/is/has been craziest about those walks on the super cold days – my sense of accomplishment seems so much greater.  It’s like not only did I push through the miles, I braved the elements, I persevered.  This is one heck of a journey I tell you.


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