Skate Skiing–Want to feel like a kid again? What form of “play” do you like best in the winter?
About two years before I had my daughter (in 2008) I discovered the most amazing new (to me) sport. Skate Skiing! Skate Skiing is like your typical classical country skiing except much faster and much more exhilarating. Skate skiing is an “ultimate endurance sport.” I have never had any coaching (other than tips from friends and the random man who decided to ski with us one day) but my ice skating background from when I was a kid was very helpful because my body already had the muscle memory to feel the skating motion. The skis and poles are longer than classic and the muscles that you use are DEFINITELY different (Ouch)!
During the winter going skate skiing is my perfect kind of play! I get to go and enjoy skiing with some of my best friends in one of the most incredible settings. The Bretton Woods Nordic Center sits near the base of Mount Washington and the snow grooming is perfect. I find the trails at Bretton Woods to be absolutely magical. Snow glistening in the trees. Postcard views and “Corduroy” snow perfect for gliding. One day when I was out for a ski by myself I was definitely tracking a moose which pretty cool although I hoped that I would not encounter him later on the trails when I was going downhill.
Skate Skiing is excellent cross-training because it is very low impact (unless you wipe out going fast down a hill–haha!) on your joints and is a welcome break from the constant pounding of running. Skate Skiing is a full body workout and the result=stronger quads, calves, hamstrings, arms, back, shoulders, abs . . . well, you get the picture. I love skiing with my friends because they challenge me with their effortless graceful gliding and strength. I love to “play” follow the leader and practice matching their skating motion. Sometimes matching a friend’s motion with perfect timing and rhythm reminds me of rowing. The rhythmic motion reminds me of following the stroke in a double oared shell, listening for the clicks, and the “shuck sound” of the oar in the oarlock and the breathing. The sounds of nordic skiing are similar– patterned breathing, the sound of the skis, gliding and pushing off of the snow and the sound of poles meeting the snow with a crunch as you propel yourself forward. The motion is quiet and beautiful while at the same time requires tremendous effort, power and strength.
For me, this music of these sports is one thing that has me hooked.
Can you relate? What is your favorite kind of winter “play?”
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