the north island report: about that rain

The first few days after we arrived in Port Hardy, the weather was beautiful for late November. It was overcast, occasionally sunny, but around 8-10 C, with very little rain. Through December, it's been raining off and on -- mostly on.

Occasionally it's cold enough for freezing rain or light snow, but that will be brief bursts. Mostly it's been around +3 to +8 (high 30s to mid-40s F), cloudy or raining. Since moving here, I've yet to put on a winter jacket. I've been wearing a fall-weight jacket, or else a rain jacket that's just a shell (my new find from L.L. Bean).

So for winter, it's warm and it's wet.

Here's the thing. Wet weather has always made me feel bad physically. Yep, that's the dirty little secret I didn't want to talk about before we moved. In the back of my mind, I was concerned about potential fibro/arthritis flare-ups. But... nothing. I've been completely fine.

I don't have an explanation for this! I do have a theory. Could it be that what was difficult for me wasn't the rain itself, but rather the barometric pressure change? And that in a climate with a lot of rain, the pressure is more consistent?

Sadly, there's no sign that I no longer have these conditions or that they're improving. So this air pressure theory is all I can come up with. I'm sure some readers will weigh in.

And here's the other thing.

Several people have advised and suggested that the rain shouldn't stop us from walking or hiking, as long as we're dressed for it. I now have a good rain jacket -- the first I've ever owned. And after discovering my hiking boots are no longer waterproof -- in fact they now immediately result in wet feet -- I found two different pairs of waterproof boots, which I'm very happy about. (No link because the boots are getting their own post!)

I've seen many colleagues come to work wearing a rain jacket and rain pants, and quickly slide them off and continue on their day. I don't have rain pants yet, and I'm not sure I can find ones that fit my size and shape, but I'm going to look into it. They do seem like a very good idea.

However... you can suit up for the rain and stay dry -- but it's still raining, and being outside is still unpleasant. I have a friend who is an all-weather walker. She lives in southern Ontario and she walks for an hour every day, no matter what the weather. I would very much like to do this, especially here where I usually won't have to deal with snow and icy sidewalks, or incredibly hot and humid weather, both being prohibitive to me. But walking in the rain for a sustained period of time seems very unpleasant.

There is a recreation centre in town, with a pool. I could return to swimming, which I did avidly for 20 years, until I started graduate school in 2009. But there are other issues with that, and I'd much rather be outdoors. I'd like to learn a new attitude about walking in the rain, but I'm not sure that's realistic.

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