Friday, 19 April 2013

My Daughter and I: Winter Skiing

I never went cross country (Nordic) skiing in my life until the winter of 2012. Growing up I had an obsessive personality. I fell in love with hockey at a young age and I didn't let go. I spent virtually every day of my youth playing either ice or floor hockey: it was wonderful. In a way it was a shame I was obsessed with hockey because Northern Cape Breton has world class cross country skiing at North Highlands Nordic on the Cabot Trail.

When my wife found out about a Bunny Rabbit Ski program (3-5 years old) from a co-worker, I was intrigued. Naturally, my obsessive personality kicked it so I signed on to be a coach and I jumped on the skis. Now, I have had a history of injuries and knee problems, damn ligaments, so I was a tad bit nervous when I started off. Well, in a matter of seconds I was skiing classic style and strutting up the hill. I had no problem lagging behind the group of experienced skiers because I felt no pain. And I had no problem taking my time snow plowing, turning on the spot, getting up and falling down because, once again, I felt no pain. Not only that, I felt a certain sense of freedom as I glided along, gently cradled by the wind, across the smooth, white, natural snow; a certain sense of freedom that I haven't felt since the time before I suffered several injuries many years ago.

When I took my daughter skiing, I saw that feeling of freedom in her eyes as she bounded up the hill in a jumbled line with her bunny rabbit friends. Then I saw something else. On the way down, when I'd scoot ahead of her, so I could watch her pumping her little arms to zoom down the hill, I saw that other thing that we as adults tend to forget. When she screamed "Aren't I fast Daddy! Aren't I fast!" I could see that feeling of empowerment children get when they think they can conquer the world through their imagination alone.

You know what, we can.

It delights me to say that I have finally tried Nordic skiing and that I loved it! It delights me even more that my daughter seems to love it as much as I loved hockey. I look forward to next year when she, and hopefully her sister, can head to North Highlands Nordic on the weekends.

This morning, as she looked out the window to the dwindling drift of snow in the back yard she said, "I can't wait to go skiing Daddy."

I told her that "skiing won't be until next year, next winter sweetie."

"Then I can't wait for next winter Daddy," she replied.

Thank you North Highlands Nordic, do you know where I can buy a good pair of roller skis for a soon-to-be 4 year old?

north, highlands, nordic, bunny rabbits,
Honora (big smile, far left) and Her Bunny Rabbit Friends