Winter is often the recipient of so much contempt. I used to despise winter: the sub-zero temperatures, the snow drifts as tall as me, and a coat of icy over every outdoor surface.
Granted, my change in opinion occurred when we moved from Northwest Indiana (land of the lake effect snow) to the Pacific Northwest. Now, I don’t want winter to end. Winter in the Pacific Northwest has its dreary days, but overall it’s magical. Winter in the PNW invites you to opt outside, to banish away those winter blues with some fresh air and mountain views.
The snowy mountains offer a welcome respite and endless opportunity for adventure. The crisp coldness in the lowlands is often accompanied by a glorious glimpse of sunshine. The cold air invigorates the lungs and with cold hands from hours outside comes a warm and satisfied heart.
Winter (ski/snowboard/snowshoe season) in the mountains easily extend through March, but there’s only so many weekends from now until the powdery snow turns to slush. Snowboarding and snowshoeing evoke the same feeling as marathon training for me: deep satisfaction and bliss, yet the bittersweet knowledge that I can only do it realistically for a few months per year. That knowledge makes me savor it even more.
We ventured out into the mountains yet again this weekend for snowshoeing. The Nordic Center at our ski resort is spoiling, with access to over 30 miles of trails for just a bit more of the cost of a movie ticket. I love going to the movies, but I think if I had to choose, I would choose a day out snowshoeing (or snowboarding, but that’s more akin to the cost of a very fancy date night out).
From the groomed nordic trails, snowshoeing afforded us the opportunity to take the road less traveled. We ventured up and down along the mountain. Since the cross-country and nordic skiers remained on the groomed trails, we had these parts of the mountains almost completely to ourselves. In an era when you hear so many voices rage on social media, the meditative silence of the mountains is a welcome retreat.
Snowboarding and snowshoeing both provide great cross-training. They offer those elements of fun and variety that is needed for cross-training along with a low-intensity workout. I feel my endurance build with those long snowshoes or snowboarding days and different muscles working.
Do you prefer winter or summer?
What’s your current favorite non-running winter workout?