Cate’s recent post got me thinking about my approach to winter exercise, balancing training for the summer, with playing in the snow. Each year, I pledge to spend more time outside. The indoors makes me miserable. After a few days of indoor only time–like when I’m at an academic conference–I can feel my spirits lowering. Time spent sleeping and living outdoors, like canoeing and camping in Algonquin Park brings me back to life.
But I don’t do cold all that well. Especially my hands. And Canadian winters are long.
This year though I think I managed my goal of playing outside in the snow more often. And I loved it.
The biggest thing that’s made a difference is flexibility.
Canada has winter but winter isn’t a reliable snow filled playground. Snow comes and goes and with climate change, we’re having a lot of ups and downs to deal with.
This winter I’ve done lots of different outdoor things. I’ve been ice skating and fat biking (here and here) and snow shoeing and cross country skiing. I might even try downhill before the winter is out if Sarah has her way.
The nice thing about being flexible is that I haven’t needed conditions to be perfect. I love cross country skiing but the past bunch of winters have been rough. Too warm, too cold, not enough snow, snow, and then melting…This time I haven’t been serious about any of it. It’s all felt like playing in the snow.
I’ve also been playing in the snow with lots of different people. That’s helped too. Jeff and I went skating, Sarah and I went skiing, and one of the fat biking trips was solo. I’ve gotten better about going it alone when I have to.
I’ve been serious about the bike trainer and about Aikido, as my indoor things. But outside, I’ve just been having fun. It’s made for a good balance and I hope to keep it going once spring arrives.
Oh, and that’s the other thing that’s helped–a late start to winter and an earlier, and warmer, than usual spring.
But warm and sunny or cold and snowy, I love the outside.