It was roughly 2C, -3C with windchill (but then only my mother cares abut windchill), with sleeting snow and rain falling from the clouded Toronto afternoon sky. Despite being clothed in merely a white short sleeve, a pair of black arm warmers, a tiny pair of the old team-issued spandex shorts, blue compression socks, and a pair of bright pink shoes the body was not cold. In fact the moving body steamed in the sleet, cold, dim, and wet that the city was offering. But despite the easy and strong strides of the young lady with the bobbing ponytail the hard battle to not burst into tears was being fought. She could feel her socks were soggy. She did not like running in wet socks.
A lady in dark blue called out to her as she passed, “Wow, you are a brave soul.”
There was no response. The spandex clad body just kept running. There were only two things on her mind, the approximate minutes until her destination, barring near death experiences with incompetent drivers, and the fact her socks were wet. She kept moving, powered only by the sheer determination and will to get back to the Athletic Centre so she could change her socks.
Brave is an adjective to describe the readiness to face and endure danger or pain. But in my mind brave can only be used to describe a person or action that shows courage toward betterment. I’ve been called brave by numerous individuals on my “long runs” through the city but I don’t think this adjective was used appropriately. My actions of being underdressed by society standards (in my defense my body heats up, and by heats up I mean heats up) for the weather cannot be considered brave but can be considered foolish and selfish. If my mother had heard this adjective being applied to me in this type of a situation she could probably launch into a lecture on how my actions may potentially cause a dent in taxpayer’s wallets due the illness I will eventually become victim to before accessing a doctor supported by the universal health care system.