The freezing cold temperatures and constant threat of snow are starting to wear down on me. I am a very positive person, but this winter is beginning to thin out my tolerance for the season, giving me a major case of the winter blues.
As much as I fell in love with winter last year, it’s only February, and like many, I am ready for this winter to end. Instead of going out and enjoying the season, I’ve been hibernating and dreaming of warmer days and beaches. I even booked a spring break getaway to Puerto Rico. By then the snow will be gone, but I know that I’ll need to thaw out from this frigid winter.
Still, as no end seems to be in sight, I have been trying to get myself through it. Last year, I discovered that by being outdoors and enjoying cold weather activities, I began to actually like winter. Going back to that mindset, I remembered the one activity that I didn’t get to try last year: cross country skiing.
The only issue I had was convincing someone to join me in the below freezing temperatures. Luckily, a few weeks ago, I happened to overhear a conversation my brother, Thomas, was having with my dad. It was all about wanting to go cross country skiing.
Immediately, I jumped on the opportunity and began looking up places nearby. Unfortunately, many places have trails, but you need to bring your own skis. Since this was our first time, we needed to find a place that had rentals, and after a little research we discovered Fahnestock Winter Park.
About an hour north of New York City, Fahnestock Winter Park is a winter lover’s paradise. Not only can you cross country ski, but there are also trails for snowshoeing and tubing. Plus, for $26 each, we were able to get our rentals for the day, as well as our trail pass. There are eighteen kilometers of mapped trails for beginners and experienced skiers, as well as an outdoor fireplace with a lodge serving food, and the always important hot chocolate. For us, it was the perfect place to test out this winter sport.
Even though Thomas and I grew up on the slopes, we knew cross-country skiing was a different animal. We weren’t entirely sure what to expect, but we got on our skis, and headed on our way down the tracks, hoping for the best. Immediately, we both liked it.
It was easier than I expected, but even as I gained confidence, I realized that it was also quite difficult. We both fell a few times, naively thinking at first that we couldn’t fall, but always got up laughing, and challenging ourselves not to fall the next time.
Thomas was definitely better than I was, more confident and quick, and I spent my time trying to keep up. Instead of focusing fully on the sport, I let my mind wander, looking around and appreciating the world around me.
Being outside, able to fully enjoy the winter season, my hatred of the cold switched over to an awareness of the world around me. In my skis, the snow was no longer the inconvenience that it normally is in my every day life. There was no grey ugly snow or ice to mess up my commute, but instead I was able to realize how particularly magical the world looks when it’s covered in snow.
Outside, in the park, I was able to glide my way peacefully though nature, taking in the snow covered branches and seeing the beauty in the way the snow carefully blankets the world. Suddenly, the cold wasn’t bothering me, instead I was warm. Staring up at the trees and looking around me, I was too happy to hate winter.
Even today, as the slow blows around outside, piling up in inches by the hour, it’s hard to hate the beauty behind the season. Yes, it’s cold, and sure, it creates a ton of disturbances, but sometimes we need to take a minute to really look at how pretty the snow can be.
I think my time spent outside trying a new activity made me remember why I fell in love with the season last year. Now, when it snows, I am just looking forward to my next outdoor adventure, rather than letting the winter blues have their way with me.