Living in cold water climes presents difficulties as to how to keep active during the eight to 10 months of winter. OK, so I exaggerate — we’ve only got five months of “winter” up here in Canada’s maritime province, Nova Scotia. But trust me, those five months can feel like an eternity.
Winter is not so bad as long as you have relatively fresh snow. Snow equals skiing, downhill and X-country, both of which rank among my favorite physical activities. But woe be unto me in wintertime when the snow is lacking, cause, other than hitting the local gym, I just don’t know what to do with myself to keep active.
Now if I were a good Canadian this wouldn’t present a problem, because… Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s right! “hockey” Canada’s national pastime and sport. Although an book not too long ago calls that history in to question – Canada’s national sport was born on the frozen ponds of England.
But I am not a good Canadian, and I haven’t tried to play hockey since my mother enrolled me in a pee-wee hockey league back when she married my Canadian stepfather when I was seven. And that was not a stellar introduction to the sport. It felt like I spent more time putting on and taking off my gear in the locker room than it did spending time on the ice. And, because I was so far behind in my skating skills, I spent all of my time that first and only season either on the bench or practicing skating with the help of a light-weight chair that I pushed along the ice in front of me to maintain balance and keep from falling.
A rather ignominious introduction to the sport, and one which pretty much kept me off the ice for the rest of my life, suppose that why I stick to the easy stuff like hiking now.