Early January in Stockholm and it’s dark and cold. So cold that the lakes turned to ice a month ago. So cold that your lungs hurt when you inhale. So cold that being outside, well, is brief. I scurry from flat to office, office to home. I try to find as many underground shortcuts as possible. I freeze even though I am wearing 5 layers of clothes.
I walk briskly down Kungsgatan, hunched with cold, and cursing the sting of the chill, when a focused Swede runs past me. Dressed in shorts, a reflective vest and a Ipod, he’s off on a jogging round. Probably down to the frozen canal and along the slippery canal-side path. He’s probably going to circle city hall and run casually along the lakeside, past the boats frozen fast into the ice. His legs are red and slightly chapped. His breath is billowing steam. But he doesn’t seem to care. The cold won’t stop him from his daily jogging round.
That’s what I call determination.
Freezing? It’s for wimps.