Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fitness Challenge: Cross Country Skiing

There are hardy souls who run year round, and fair weather outdoor enthusiasts, like me, who only want to ride a bicycle when it's between 60 and 70 degrees. But cross country skiing is a whole different animal. For one thing, you warm up really quickly, particularly in southern Vermont in January. For another, you get that runner's high, a blissful, peaceful feeling when you schuss along a mountain stream or through a forest. We enjoyed just such a scenario at the Okemo Valley Nordic Center at Okemo Mountain Resort. The cross country skiing takes place at the Golf Club, with 22 km of tracked and skate-groomed terrain. My children, dedicated down hill skiers, scoff at cross country skiing, finding amusement in the intermediate and expert terrain. But the hills are real, and the level of fitness required no joke. And like biking, you end up skiing, constantly using your legs, for hours on end. No standing around on lift lines or just engaging your core while you slalom down the mountain.

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