Category Archives: snow

Skiing

“I don’t really need to do it.”

As soon as I thought those words, I knew I had no other option.  If it wasn’t for Do I Really Need To that I wrote in January, I wouldn’t have been looking down the steep face of a Black Diamond run. (Perhaps I should stop reading my own blog posts?)  I was confident, on the whole, that it would be a successful run.  After all, I was in middle school when my best friend, Kim, and I skied down Hemlock for this first time.  So, I didn’t really need to do it.  Or, did I? 

In middle school, Kim and I, along with just about everyone from our school, were members of a ski club. We spent every Friday night fighting off frostbite resulting from refusing to compromise our ski bunny looks.  It wasn’t cool to zip up your coat or wear a hat at a ski resort in the 80’s.  Being a ski bunny didn’t confine us to the bunny hill though, we raced, jumped, did tricks, took illegal trails and did our best to do whatever the boys did. 

However, up until three years ago, I hadn’t skied since 1997 when I lived near the Pocono Mountains.  I’d even forgotten I owned skies. We had shoved them into the attic for storage when we moved to Illinois in 2004.  By the time we rediscovered them, they were deformed and delaminated.  Luckily, I’ve been able to accompany my son on the Boy Scout annual skiing trip for the last three years.  I’ve gone from a weekly skier to a yearly skier, on rentals no less. Let’s just say 12 year old me can ski circles around the 42 year old me. 

Yet, 42 year old me had an advantage. I already knew I could ski this black diamond.  And, this time, skiing the black diamond wasn’t to impress 6th grade hottie, Dave Scalpone.  It was to impress upon myself that life is still full of opportunities that I won’t regret pulling off.  

At the end of the night, after skiing the black diamond several times, racing from one ski run to the next and traversing the icy hill at eye watering speeds, I gushed to another parent, 

“I am 50% exhausted and 50% exhilarated!”

That’s why I really did need to do it. 

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Filed under Michigan, snow, Uncategorized

Snow

Do you ever think you forgot to pack your running gear because that was what you were supposed to do?

Mežotne is a home nuzzled between tree coated hills. At the present, both the trees and the hills are hooded with snow.

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I may not have had running gear but I was armed with hiking boots, water proof gear, and my iPhone camera. I said, “Let’s go hike. We don’t even have to leave the back yard.”

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People don’t understand why I like snow so much. I don’t understand why they don’t want to view the world under a whole new setting.

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Although, at this point, I was wondering why I kept choosing to climb the hills.

It was a thrilling day in the beauty wood.

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Filed under exercise, Michigan, snow

Craving

I have a craving so strong I can almost taste it!

The crunch…the steam…

Just thinking about it almost makes my eyelashes freeze…

Yes, I crave something that makes my eyelashes freeze over.

I’m sure most of my family presumed I am talking about a craving for ice cream cone. Usually, the answer would be yes, but, not today. At least, not during the writing of this post.

I ache for a snowy run through the park. Oh, how I long to struggle to navigate through three inches of snow in shoes that were never meant for slippery conditions. I yearn to hear that snow crunch underfoot as I leave a lasting impression criss-crossing through the park. I pine for that moment when I struggle to blink after the condensate from my steamy breath collects on my lashes then freezes.

A snow blanketed park is peaceful and quiet. It seems like a whisper can be heard for miles, or, at least, by the snowshoer, the only other likely visitor but with much better traction, that would be walking through the other end of the park. I’d have to be careful what I whisper under my breathe when I fall on my rear just in case she’s offended by four letter words, like “sunn n rain”.

Global warming go away, bring back my snowy day!

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Snowflakes

Lackadaisical snowflakes flittered through the air just after sunrise early one morning in winter.

I ran.

Ten snowflakes combined together to perform daring skydiving tricks before landing on the warm concrete and disappearing in front of a gaping onlooker.

I inhaled sharp cold air.

Three lazy snowflakes climbed on top of their brother and let him do all the work of increasing their air resistance for a nice gentle descent into the bold green grass at the children’s park.

I ran.

Two tiny snowflakes raced to beat the another to the third bush at the grey house on the corner of Outer and Joliet Drive.

I smiled the snowflakes took an extra swirl and tumble in an air disturbance created because I was running.

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Desperation Into Determination

“OMG! I am so fricken miserable in these pants. I feel like I am going to burst open like an overstuffed sausage in a hot grill. Weight watchers…take me away!!!”

That’s desperation.

The good thing about desperation is wanting, intensely, to get out of that situation. The problem was that it was rooted to that particular moment when I was miserable. After three days, I was no longer bloated from excessive salt intake, therefore, no longer miserable. I was also not desperate anymore. My pants felt fine which was sufficient to give into simple justification to eat anything, thus, starting the desperate cycle all over again.

What I need… is determination. I need to take my desperation and turn it into determination.

Other than being able to wear pants without the button popping off and shooting someone’s eye out, I have to admit that I’m not much concerned about my weight. However, weight isn’t the only fitness measurement in life. So, why “give up” as it were? It is now time to declare things I am determined to do or not do as the case may be.

I am determined to be able to run 6 miles anytime I want. I could run 6 miles now, probably, maybe, but it would be a desperate attempt at which I’d probably stop after 1.3 miles then collapse on the convenience store floor with one hand stretched out in a desperate search for one last Twinkie. I felt my best when I could simply say 6 seems good today then simply go run it.

I am determined to not let 40 be the slide into a stocked medicine cabinet. My husband who is the poster child for all things stress can do to you, hit 40 and found himself saddled with maintenance drugs like Nexium. He keeps taunting me that when I turn 40, I will acquire my own personal pharmacy. Maybe the need for prescription drugs will be out of my control but if I don’t start drinking enough water to fill the Shedd Aquarium and avoiding cases of timeless Twinkies, well, then I might as well carry around a white flag with a matching pill box. I am determined to fight for good health.

I am determined to be The World’s Strongest Man. Shortly, snowmobile season will be here, hopefully. I worry that I will get my snowmobile stuck in a snowbank. My clothing will get soaked with sweat as I desperately attempt and fail to free the sled. Then my clothes will freeze causing my body to go into hypothermia as my temperature drops to 97 degrees before I am located through a massive search and rescue mission. I will have to spend the remainder of the trip in the hot tub which sounds delightful until you visualize me in a swim cap with rubber flowers circa 1950 and it’s a vision you’ll never fully recover from. I can simply avoid this desperate situation in the rubber swim cap if I stay determined to become The World’s Strongest Man (on the Barefoot Rose scale, naturally).

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Filed under Barefoot, exercise, running, snow, Weight loss

A Snowy Paradise

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If there is no snow, you’ve got to go!
To the snow that is. Sunrise on Lake Superior.

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When you have to go… You hope one of theses beauties shows up on the trail. Porta-potty intersection on Trail 452.

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Everyone wants to go to the beach on vacation. So do we! Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, MI

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These waves are so cool, four can hang ten at the same time.

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I hope you weren’t looking for a place to park your car.

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How far is it to home? Can I run that far? Probably not even in a whole year.

I spend all winter hoping and praying for snow. After a few days in Paradise, I’m satisfied. Bring on spring and all that barefoot weather!

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Sledding

The winter night concealed the rate at which the icy snow passed underneath the saucers generating a pack of fearless riders. We sat side by side on saucers at the top of the hill counting in unison, one, two, three! Six sets of eyes scanned the landscape below for darkened shapes suggesting a tree, a bush, or even a fence.

The kids pushed off first, my sister and I allowing them to gain a small lead before we began our rapid pursuit.

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The saucers fanned out but I quickly caught up to my niece and hooked into her arm becoming a two (wo)man speeding train. Across the hill I heard peels of laughter, squeals of delight, and statements of awesomeness. My saucer spun around till our train was flying backwards restricting my view of our path and the obstacles in it. I dragged my right mittened hand to redirect the train and shortly yelled, “BAIL! BAIL! BAIL!” The niece and I rolled off our saucers about 5 feet before a prodigious weeping willow.

“Hurry! We have to do that again!”

There is nothing quite like the magic of nighttime sledding. Besides the kids feeling fearless, I felt like the last thirty decades had blurred together making me ten years old again. I was not merely relating a childhood memory to them; they were living my childhood right along side of me.

I stood at the bottom of the hill marveling at Dad’s home, my childhood home, my home. The warm light from the living room reflecting off the snow giving everything at the top an orange hue. The moment was timeless and the joy endless.

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Filed under family, Michigan, snow