Maybe spring finds some perverse sense of pleasure posing as her less-attractive sister, winter, but I am not amused. I’m not a fan of the recent display of Mother Nature’s sadistic sense of humor.

Born and raised in Michigan, I’m no stranger to the vacillating weather. Last week, when I turned on my car and the thermometer read 70 degrees, I knew better than to gather all of my boots — strewn across the floor from frequent use — and pluck my heavy jackets from their easy-access wall hooks and nestle them deep in the closet for a long summer’s nap — it’s still too soon.

As I write my final column of the semester, in my usual study spot at the counter of Biggby Coffee on E. Liberty, I have a panoramic view of the unrelenting cascades of sleet currently attacking the streets of Ann Arbor. There’s no better word to describe the past four days than just plain gross. If I really want some May flowers, I’ll just grab my watering can. These April showers are cruel and unnecessary punishment.

I’m not complaining because I can’t handle a little precipitation or 40-degree weather. Like I said, I think I’ve bought out The North Face a few times over now; I’m prepared for anything as I trudge around campus. I’m especially perturbed because, for me, there’s nothing better for my mind, body and spirit than outdoor exercise.

I attempt to run in freezing temperatures on sidewalks covered in snow and ice. I do it, but I don’t like it, and as life always tries to get in my way when I want to exercise, I don’t need anything else working against me. So, I pay a substantial fee every month for a gym membership to evade the “weather excuse” that challenges my exercise habits from late November to mid-May.

But just when I think my problems are solved, the “boring excuse” rears its ugly head at me. All of a sudden, I’m skipping a trip to the gym because I decide that the treadmill is too monotonous, and the elliptical isn’t entertaining enough and who wants to ride a bike that doesn’t go anywhere?

And then, if I need extra convincing that the next two hours are better spent catching up on “Homeland” (If you’ve seen this show, then you understand my dilemma), the “germ excuse” kicks in, and all of a sudden I’m certain that I’ll catch the flu that’s going around if I use public equipment — spray bottles or not.

Excuses live, breathe and wreak havoc everywhere, but they’re especially strong and active in my mind during a Michigan winter. For me, the inclement weather, a somewhat legitimate obstacle to being active, sparks this chain reaction of ridiculous reasons not to exercise. But seeing as I’m stuck in this state for at least one more year — moving to Texas or Southern California is still a few pages ahead in my playbook — all I can do is wait for that exhilarating moment when my winter garb does finally go away for the season.

And when that happens, folks, there are no more excuses.

Summertime provides an ideal atmosphere for everyone to get moving, especially the avid runners of the world — dry pavement and a T-shirt trumps slush and spandex any day. But perhaps the most important element of this drastic weather shift is how it offers a million more ways for people who gag at the thought of physical exertion to have fun with exercise.

If you’re part of the crowd that just doesn’t understand why a human being would ever want to run 26.2 miles, then get active by joining a pick-up league — any kind. Every year, right around this time, I yearn for that smell of fresh-cut grass because it means soccer season is here. But I don’t just stick to sports that I used to play in the NCAA. Even though my experience amounted to one season in eighth grade, last summer I played in a pick-up softball league, and just being outside with other people engaged in an activity improved my mood and enriched my life.

So, if you’ve struggled to implement fitness into your life, this summer is a glorious opportunity to dedicate, or rededicate, yourself to being active. And, even if you claim you’re not a so-called “athlete,” there’s still no excuse: We all can do just fine at kickball.

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