Guest blog by Jen Johnson.
I clearly remember my first pair of skis. They were of the red plastic variety and were found wrapped with a big bow under the tree on Christmas morning. I pictured myself training for the Olympic Games and dreamed big dreams of speed and agility. I was to have a grand career in Nordic skiing. The closest I came was exploring the snow covered hills of our local golf course with my brother. Nothing compared to the thrill of gliding up and over the hills and skirting the water hazards. I loved the crisp air and spending time with my best buddy. I had an ear to ear grin frozen on my face all winter long.
Those memories inspired me to gift my two sons their own pairs of skis when they were just one and four years old. That first year they spent many afternoons outside playing “skier”. Today, they no longer have to play at skiing, they are well practiced. We make regular visits to the backcountry, breaking the silence with our squeals of raucous laughter; the snow muffling our hijinks enough to allow for glimpses of the wildlife. Stopping for a mid-ski picnic with a thermos of hot chocolate makes the day worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting.
I’ve learned that you don’t need to be an Olympic level athlete to enjoy cross-country skiing, it really is for everyone. Shuffling around the backyard with the kiddies or coursing down the local trails can be equally thrilling adventures. For our family, skiing has always meant togetherness, fresh air and exercise and lifelong memories.
Find great cross-country skiing adventures at Ontario Outdoors!
Meet the Blogger:
Jen Johnson has worked in the outdoor industry at Mountain Equipment Co-op for the last 18 years. She and her husband, Fraser, trip regularly with their two sons Luke 11 and Zach 8. When not paddling, hiking or skiing Ontario’s beautiful backcountry, you can find Jen writing for backcountrywiththekids.com.