For those of you who do not know me very well, I love to work out. Part of me enjoys it because it is what I have always done (since joining cross country in seventh grade), and part of me needs the stress relief, the feeling of burning lungs, and an open mind.

The last few winters have jumped from mild to severe in temperature, and most of my work outs were directed to my campus gym facility. Although I enjoyed being able to get my body going, it wasn’t the same as running outside.

Last week I ran outside four times, and it wasn’t until my third run that it hit me: nearly half-way through December, I am able to run outside when I want (and even wear light layers).

I hadn’t gone very far, and my body was starting to ache, so I contemplated stopping early. When I made my realization, however, there was no way I could end my work out early.

I picked up the pace and prayed a prayer of thanks. I was (and am) so thankful for this beautiful winter weather.

The warm temperatures gave me a new perspective of appreciation for running. They also changed my perspective on other things in my life. It seems that when things are going well I forget to be thankful for them–it’s almost as if I even forget their presence.

The warm temperatures have been a real gift; and so are my job, my friends, my family, and the blessings I have received.

It’s time I look at each day and appreciate the little things–the consistent goodness that is often forgotten.