Earlier this year, before I began my Birkebeiner training, I wrote a piece called five reasons to learn cross-country skiing. Winter is beautiful and the fact that skiing is a great workout top the list. These reasons sometimes work at cross purposes with each other.
I will be participating in the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski Marathon in Hayward, Wisconsin in less than two weeks. I have been strenuously skiing at every chance and when not skiing I have been running.
Sometimes when I am so caught up in the skiing, I forget to check out the scenery. I always bring several cameras along, so I usually stop and take a picture every now and then, but even that becomes part of the routine. Sometimes it is important to stop killing yourself and remember that the best part of skiing is to enjoy the outdoors.
I donâ€™t think any cross-country skier would argue with this. Getting a great workout and enjoying the thrill of skiing are perks to the activity, but the best part about it is it gets you outdoors when you normally would not be.
Instead of sitting around and watching every football and basketball game (I still watch some), I have been to Lake Kegonsa State Park, Blue Mound State Park, South Kettle Moraine three times, Lapham Peak, Black River Falls State Park, North Kettle Moraine State Forest, and Pike Lake.
Next week I will be cruising up to train in northern Minnesota near the Canadian Border along the Gunflint Trail. I have complained to anyone that will listen how horrible this winter has been as far as snow conditions, but I really cannot complain as I have made the best of it. When I reflect on these pictures and the skiing I have done, I have been fortunate.
When I think back on it, it is has been a great winter and a beautiful one, and these pictures prove it. Now it is time to end the winter with a bang by skiing the Birkie and with hope, some more outings afterwards.
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