Sunday, 23 January 2011
The forecast says today should have a maximum of -21 - yes you read that right, a MAXIMUM of -21. What to do with such a ridiculously chilly day? Why, tie planks to your feet and go sliding in the snow of course!
If you know me (and I assume you do, why else would you be here?), you will be aware of my complete lack of co-ordination. (This does indeed apply to my fashion sense but on this occasion I am referring to my lack of ability to co-ordinate my limbs as opposed to my wardrobe). After 17 months in Canada I have now mastered standing completely still on skates which I count as a huge achievement. I have only slipped over once this year thus far whilst walking about town, and I currently only have three bruises on my legs from banging into furniture around the house during my day to day activities (considering what a large percentage of the day i spend on a sofa this may not be as impressive a record as I think). Anyway, with these huge personal successes under my belt, I felt I was ready to hit the snow on skis once again - and yet again I LOVED IT!
I was struck whilst out today that skiing means very different things to each person who does it. Obviously there is the downhill vs. X-country debate, and rest assured I shall only be venturing out on the flat as there is no darn way I should be trusted on any of them there ski-slopes, that would just be silly. But even amongst those out in the woods today it was clear that for many skiing is an exercise to be slogged at. I was passed repeatedly by speedy skiers, seemingly intent on slogging their way round the trail, straining every muscle in their bodies in the process.
This (unsurprisingly) is not how I like to ski. For me, once I've been going long enough to reach a comfortable temperature and feel my fingertips again, it is almost a meditative experience. I'm out in nature, my body pretty much sliding away on autopilot and I can stare off into the woods in search of views to cherish and birds to spot. I sing to myself (quietly), and apart from the odd wobble am content to plod away in my own little world. Did I mention how much I love it?!
And after all this? A trip to the Spa Nordik to wallow in hot pools while your hair frosts up once more, sweat away in the sauna, and read your book by the fire.
And while the other spa-goers lie about in their bikinis looking svelte and stylish with their long limbs stretched out, I snuggle up under my robe with headphones on and promptly fall asleep. My dear friends told me I looked like I'd curled up in the fetal position.....all I know is that was one hell of a nap. I only hope I wasn't snoring.