You can’t really call yourself a runner until you have slid down an asphalt hill in the dark on your ass because you didn’t see the sheet of ice. Or ran across what looked like firm snow to plant your foot 6 inches deep in a wet mess. Or been sprayed by black slush as a car whizzes by. Or slid into a frozen gutter while trying to avoid oncoming traffic at night. Or stood in your house for 2 minutes fully dressed for the cold before breaking into a tropical sweat. Or heard the jingling of an unleashed dog’s collar right before you bolted into the cold wind. Or tried to stop at the corner of an icy sidewalk but kept sliding. Or found yourself thinking you could run right through that puddle only to realize that puddle was a giant sheet of ice. Or tasted fresh snowflakes. Or discovered the difference between snowflakes at 32 degrees and snowflakes at 20 because of the way they look when they stick to your fleece mittens. Or tasted the fuzzy fleece of your balaclava for 50 minutes straight. Or found that balaclava frozen to your mouth at the end of the run. Or have knuckles raw, cracked and bleeding from too much exposure to the cold. Or remembered the first time you ran below zero degrees. Or have experienced ass cheeks so cold you got the chills every time they rubbed together. Or been outside in 5 degrees but felt 105 under 20 layers of moisture wicking clothing. Or realized there really is no such thing as moisture wicking clothing. Or the lids of your Fuel Belt bottles have frozen shut. Or had your mitten ice over after you spilled water on it while getting a drink. Or have worn two of everything just to stay warm. Or had hands so frozen you couldn’t untie your shoes when you got home so you had to sit in your garage with snowy shoes until your hands became fully functional again. Or found yourself in the woods trying to pull down two layers of tights to leave steamy pee on the ground. Or have felt the difference between rain, sleet, hail, and snow….all in one run. Or climbed hill repeats on an icy snowed over sled hill. Or rolled down that hill in the snow after the repeats just because. Of course if you live somewhere warmer you can still call yourself a runner but you’re missing all the fun.