Sarah Simpson Column: Black Fridays and dark mornings

I’m all for a good sale but this is a bit much for me.

Here we are again finding ourselves sort of in the thick of the crummy winter weather. I say that cautiously because it’s not technically winter yet and at points over the last while, it’s been beautifully bright and warm out. (Just never when it would be any use to me.)

It’s the time of year where people confuse my children by hanging their Christmas lights while their pumpkins are still beside their front doors.

It’s the time of year for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And what? Red Thursday? What’s that? Must be the same as Pre-Black Friday, which apparently is also a thing. Some places have morphed it into Black Friday Week. Others have gone all in and declared it Black Friday Month. I’m all for a good sale but this is a bit much for me.

If it was only sales I would be OK with it. It’s the aggression of some people wanting a bargain that’s troubling. It doesn’t happen as much here in Canada but in the United States and across the globe people actually die (DIE!!) to get those sales. So much so there’s actually a website dedicated to just that. (Check out if you don’t believe me.)

I was thinking of listing a few of the most ridiculous cases but I thought better of it. That’s not good news. People getting shot and stabbed and trampled and beaten all in the name of a 75 per cent off sale makes for dark days.

Speaking of dark days, it’s also the time of year where I’ve abandoned most of my morning walks and runs because it’s too dark out to go safely. It’s also way too cold for this fair-weather jogger. While I do enjoy the invigoration of a cool morning run, I refuse to have to wear gloves and a winter coat to do it. I’m stubborn like that.

I’ll admit I’m a bit of a statistics nerd. It’s pretty ironic because I’m terrible at math and I get mixed up pretty easily with numbers. (They say you’re either a numbers person or a letters person, and I’m most certainly the latter. If you’re both, keep it to yourself you show off.)

Do you remember last January when I wrote to you all about my morning run on New Years Day?

SEE RELATED: Column: My run was not a New Years resolution, but I did it anyway

In it I wrote this lie, although it wasn’t a lie at the time:

“I got up at 6 a.m. on New Year’s morning to run. On purpose. It wasn’t a resolution. This will not become a habit. The gym was closed and I didn’t want to start the year off by skipping a workout.”

I didn’t mean to become an outdoor runner. I really actively tried not to do it regularly. I am more of a treadmill kinda gal. Or at least I thought I was.

But I started to like it outside. Plus it was fun to watch my statistics climb. I have a cool watch and it collects neat data. I wanted more.

Shortly after that first run of 2018 I ran outside again. And then again. Soon thereafter I found myself setting a very modest goal to run outdoors 12 times this year. That was just once a month, anyone could do that right?

It took me seven months but I did it. With so much time left in the year, and some of the best weather still ahead, I opted to double my goal. I hit 24 by the end of August. I’m four outdoor runs away from 36 now. Everyday runners would laugh but I’m proud of my feat (and feet, they really hate pounding on pavement).

I’ll tell you one place I won’t be running to anytime soon though, all that Black Friday madness.

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