Allison Van Akkeren was kind enough to share some writing from her Sterling College students in the Advanced Cross-Country ski class as part of their final project of a Nordic ski handbook. Pretty inspiring – perhaps you should get out and enjoy the snow from this AM yet today?
Why I ski: Cross country skiing is by far one of the best ways to exercise in winter in my opinion. You can push yourself as hard as you want or take it easy and use it as a way to get out during the colder months of the year. You don’t need to drive to a resort to go cross country skiing but you can if you want. You can use groomed trails or just go find some stretch of wilderness or park and go skiing. The options are nearly limitless in how you can get out and go cross country skiing leaving you with few excuses not to go. Most of all I like the diversity of people who can cross country ski, old, young, rich, poor, athletic, or those not so athletic, anyone really can do it at some level. – Devin Thurber
Cross country skiing has been one of the best activities to get me outside during the cold snowy months of the year where I would otherwise be cooped up indoors. If you are a runner such as myself then cross country (XC) skiing is a perfect substitution when there’s snow on the ground. It’s a lower impact activity than running but still gives you a great leg and cardio work out. To make things better, XC skiing works out your upper body to a nearly equal degree to that of your lower body. If you are not a fitness fanatic that likes to push oneself as I do, don’t be intimidated. XC skiing is and should be a go at your own comfortable pace experience. It is a way to simply have fun out in the snow. So go ahead and get out there and have some fun! – Emlyn Jones Sterling College, Nordic Skier.
To paraphrase esteemed naturalist and champion ultra-runner Bernd Heinrich, movement is the essence of life and running (or in this case skiing) is extreme movement. People often confine themselves to this sport or that, but for some it is not the manifestation of movement that matters but the movement itself. When the snow starts to fly and the mercury plummets it becomes less and less desirable and sometimes even impossible to lace up ones running shoes or hop on a bicycle; luckily for those of us not content to stay indoors, there is skiing. There is no feeling quite like gliding efficiently through the snow covered landscape as the kilometers float by, no warmth quite like that produced by muscles engaged in the act of movement.
Part of the beauty of skiing is its accessibility; there is no need to be an Olympic athlete to stride along at a leisurely pace and enter into the beauty that winter has to offer. Whether you are taking a leisurely jaunt in your favorite wool sweater or skating at the elite level in a lycra unitard all that is required to participate in this centuries old mode of transportation and recreation is some warm layers and a sense of adventure.
– Geoffrey Fehrs
One would want to x-country ski in the winter because it’s an excellent way to travel, get a work out and see the land, all at the same time. Cross-Country skiing has also been a way that people have used to get around in the snow for 1000’s of years. When I am skiing I feel deeply connected with my ancestors. It is also the best way to keep warm, so I encourage you to get out and ski. – Matthew Haarklou
Skiing is important to me because I feel that it is good to practice different modes of human powered travel, for the environment, your body and your mind. Like hiking, once you have found your rhythm skiing, and cross country skiing in particular, becomes a form of meditation, which can awaken a different part of your soul. Your body also awakens as cross country skiing is a good cardio work out and uses an interesting variety of muscles. All in all, worth doing in many respects. – Adam Haley