As we dip into sub zero temperatures and much of the country gets covered in a powdery blanket of shimmery snow, I am rejoicing!
However, I didn’t always harbor this level of joy and exuberance. Quite the contrary, I had downright disdain for anything and everything winter.
I am a Minnesota native, however, my parents were transplants from warmer climates and their only solution for frigid temperatures was to hibernate for the winter.
Not very sustainable, I must say.
Anyway, as soon as I graduated high school, I flew the coop, so to speak, to the sunny shores of Florida. After a few years, the charm of the Midwest called me back home and I returned without so much as owning even one pair of socks. I did my best to adjust, but my friends nearly disowned me each year, from November through March, because I did nothing but complain about the cold weather.
Enter my outdoor loving, skiing fanatic husband. At first, it was a lifestyle difference that I thought we would have to agree to disagree upon. Soon enough, he opened my world to the wonder, magic, and whimsy of winter. Snow is sparkly. Of course it’s awesome!
Once I learned the basics of “dressing for winter”, (it is somewhat of a science to do it right) and spent some time learning how to cross country ski, I was hooked.
Yes, I admit that the grimy, dirty snow we deal with while driving to and from work is little more than a nuisance. But freshly fallen flakes in the woods create a gleaming wonderland. Typically, cross country ski trails are in parks or around lakes, and removed from the hustle and bustle. Gliding across the snow in an area that is quiet and the pure, white, snow is pristine all throughout the season, is a truly uplifting experience.
Cross country ski racing is an Olympic sport for a reason…it’s really stinking hard! However, learning the basics of shuffling along and staying upright is just a smidge more difficult than walking. Anyone can do it!
I learned to ski by practicing on a frozen lake. The key to success? No hills! It was completely flat, and that minimized any falling so I left each day out on the lake with a smile on my face and no snow tucked in places that it shouldn’t be. As you get more and more comfortable, you begin to fall into the rolling rhythms of the trails and it’s effortless and smooth!
Besides the sheer beauty of the scenery, skiing gets you fresh air and exercise. Breathing in the crisp air, as you go gliding through the woods and raise your heart rate, feels so energizing. Because you are active, you stay toasty warm, and the chilly air on your cheeks is a perfect compliment to the warmth you feel down to your core.
If you ever had an inkling to try it, do yourself a favor, grab a buddy, head to your nearest park with ski rentals, and try something new. I promise, you’ll be a lot happier to see temperatures dip and the first snowflakes fly. If nothing else, winter will go by faster than ever before.