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Live, Play

Skinny Love

February 28, 2016

I am going to go ahead and admit something that will probably make me deeply uncool in outdoor circles: I don’t love skiing. Or snowboarding. Or pretty much anything that has to do with the big resorts.

That’s not to say that I hate it. I get a ski pass almost every year and I have some decent days. There are times that I finish up with a smile on my face but, more often than not, I feel like I’m just biding my time until summer comes back around and I can do all the things that I love again. Things that don’t involve expensive passes or waiting in lift lines or dealing with all those people. Skiing has always felt like a bit of a placeholder for me – something that gets me through winter.

But that was before I clicked in to a pair of skinny skis.

I have been wanting to start cross-country skiing since we moved here almost a decade ago but, for whatever reason, I never have. And, please believe, that was a big mistake!

The view from my skis on Boreas Pass in Breckenridge last weekend. I forgot my camera – the iPhone does no  justice to this view.

Finally this year we bit the bullet and took a lesson (and dragged my parents along with!) while we were up in the mountains for Christmas. And I was hooked. A few days later I came home, went for a run on a snowy day and saw someone skiing on my favorite running trail. Suddenly my run didn’t seem like nearly as much fun.

Two weeks later I had skis of my own.

I love that I’m not dependent on resorts and don’t have to stand in lift lines. I love that I get in a killer workout while also enjoying the outdoors. I love that, while I usually see people, I usually only see a few people. I love that when it snows I can go right in my neighborhood. I love that I can take my dogs and my camera. I just … love it.

It hasn’t been all fun and games. Despite taking a lesson (psst … if you’re new at this, take a lesson!) I’m definitely missing some of the skills I need to do well outside of the groomed nordic centers. I fall a lot. I have trouble getting up steeper hills and my descending skills on the skinny skis leave much to be desired. But I don’t even care. Because that’s how much I love it.

I said this was going to be the year of trying new things (stay tuned for a post about a workout that is kicking my ass in more ways than I ever knew were possible …) and it’s already paid off in spades.

Welcome to my new obsession.


Live, Play

Sayonara, summer!

September 3, 2015

I hit a breaking point yesterday.

It was hot (again) and I was sweaty (again) and I couldn’t find my shorts (again) and I was just … over it. Over the heat. Over the baking sun. Over the layers upon layers of sunscreen. I was craving fall with every fiber of my being.

Summers in Colorado are downright glorious and I spend the better part of January through May lusting after them. I dream of the days when I can ride singletrack in the high country and snuggle down in my sleeping bag at night. I long for sun dresses and flip flops and endless evenings spent drinking wine on the deck. I watch as my Chaco tan develops and celebrate when it hits its peak because I know it is the sign of a summer well spent.

But to be honest? I’m over it.

Furry dog, furry husband. Somewhere off Hoosier Pass.

As the days start to grow noticeably shorter and rogue leaves are already starting to turn yellow, I’ve got fall on the brain. And winter too. I’m thinking about snow and cyclocross and whiskey and hearty meals cooked to perfection in the dutch oven. I’m thinking about boots and scarves and agonizing over which ski pass to buy (I think I’ve made a decision …). I’m wondering if this will be the year that I get comfortable on my snowboard and whether or not I will finally try nordic skiing. I’m planning hut trips and spring getaways and making lists of places I want to try to capture snowy winter scenes.

One of the Benedict huts outside of Aspen, CO.

Maddie snowshoeing off Hoosier Pass.

I’ve got cold weather on the brain in a really big way. And I know I will be eating these words come January but for now I’m going to say it: Hey winter? I’m ready. Bring it!

I can’t be the only one feeling this way! Who else is crazy enough to be looking forward to cooler temps?