I went to bed after checking my weather app for the 3rd time last night. Psyched to join my friends on the first big bike ride of the season the next morning, I was concerned as rain was predicted all morning. There was a “system” forecasted for Westport, Ct, the starting place of our ride.
My hope was to ride The Bloomin Metric, one of my favorite rides in Connecticut, to get some training miles in. I hadn’t committed to the distance yet as it would depend on the weather and what our group was up for (40k, 75k or 100k). My big concern was, I’ve barely ridden this season and a mid-50 degree rainy ride was not in my comfort zone.
I texted my buddies with weather concerns, but they were committed no matter what.
I was on the fence, which I wasn’t proud of, which left me tossing and turning and checking my weather app obsessively at 2 and 4 am. By 5:30 am, 90% rain was predicted from 7am through 10 am and we were to start our ride at 8am….uggh! No way!
After texting the gang at 5:30 am, and wishing them a great ride, I rolled over. My bedroom window was wide open and I listened to the sound of rain. It smelled like spring and I was torn and a bit disappointed in myself. My common sense told me to stay home, my inner child said – “Go for it”! Ignoring the App, I finally jumped out of bed and headed out to join my buddies.
The ride was rainy and chilly for about 90 minutes as predicted, but it was light and didn’t detract from taking in the surrounding beauty of the emerald green lawns of Connecticut’s gold coast. No biking remorse in our group, not even a peep as we pedaled with full on focus over the wet roads. We were all glad to be there – we’ve been biking together for over 20 years and know the risks. I was proud that I didn’t let my weather app rule/ruin this plan.
I decided to drill down into how I’ve been allowing my recent obsession with weather interfere with my life. No surprise, the timing of this problem coincides with the advent of the iPhone weather app, because Al Roker wasn’t a daily draw from me. The truth is, I have been allowing my weather app to interfere with my spontaneity. I hate to cancel anything especially when it involves a sporting activity. I know that the reality is, there is nothing more unreliable than weather forecasts. I’m not afraid of being out in rain and in fact I relish a weather challenge. When I see a blizzard coming, my adrenaline starts pumping, I check to make sure my cross-country skis are around. Riding in a light rain is not an issue for me – nor is hiking in damp cold weather a reason to cancel. Wind — not so much!
My husband told me I’ve been basing my weather decisions on a very poor app and if i’m going to continue to obsess I mind as well get the best information possible. He is a pilot so he should know. Here’s what he recommends:
Darksky: An App that talks about storms and you can program to get alerts before rain starts at your location.
Forecast: More accurate than the App on our phones. You can use Darksky or Forecast or both – take a look to see what screen style is easiest for you to use. It predicts the weather by time on a 7-day period. It is way more detailed.
MyRadar: An App that shows temperature and rain across the country. My husband checks this to see when the showers will run through the area.
That said, after this morning’s obsessive behavior, and my loss of sleep anticipating weather interference—I am going on a weather diet! I need to change my ways.
Did you know that weather phobias are actually considered an anxiety disorder? Apparently if you’ve had a bad experience because of a weather event – you may get anxious when a similar type of event is predicted.
The signs of weather phobias resemble most anxieties according to an about.com weather expert. These are the signs:
- Feelings of anxiety and panic (heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, and nausea)
- An inability to sleep
- A desire to be around others when unfavorable weather is forecast or occurring
- Planning one’s daily activities around unfavorable weather
- Obsessive monitoring of weather forecasts.
If weather fears aren’t dealt with, it’s possible they could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, oragoraphobia.
There’s even a specific anxiety associated with the individual types of weather such as:
|Phobia Name||Fear of…|
|Ancraophobia, anemophobia||Wind or windstorms|
|Astraphobia, brontophobia, tonitrophobia||Thunder and lightning|
|Lilapsophobia||Tornadoes or hurricanes|
You can read more about weather phobias here: http://weather.about.com/od/wxandsociety/a/Recognizing-Weather-Phobias.htm.
So what about you? Is weather getting in the way of your spontaneity? If so, you may need to give yourself a little talking to.