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The Return to Winter Sports

Posted Oct 08 2010 4:10am

So through a confluence of motivators, I am excited to return to some old favorites and perhaps add a few. It’s been many years since I have been skiing (maybe 13?). Several years ago, I took up ice hockey in order to challenge myself and to really learn how to skate. Plus, living in Chicagoland, it’s a sport we have available – after purchasing my skates, I had free access to our local pond and also in Millennium Park downtown Chicago.

Now that my kids are getting bigger (well, 3 of them), they are branching out in terms of what they are willing to try. My wife’s family purchased a condo in Breckenridge, CO at the beginning of this year. So, everyone but me headed out for some spring skiing (I was saving leave days for when our newest arrived – the price of being a working father, sigh). Our two oldest spent 3 or 4 days in the ski school and loved it! Our then youngest spent a short time (15 minutes?) on skis and was done, but this year he’s already announced he’ll be in ski school. (Don’t think so, I believe he’s too young).

So now I’m starting to get excited. I’ll l try skiing again, but I’m more excited about being a “Gray on a Tray,” or middle-aged snowboarder (I learned this term in a book I recently read and, even if it’s out of date, I kind of like it.) I’ve wanted to try snowboarding for MANY years. In fact, I even rented a snowboard in 2007, to try out at Wilmot , in Wisconsin. It was not to be, as our son could not get the hang of the rope-tow, and I Sherpa’d him up and down the bunny slope for the half-day we were there. So close, and yet… About 10 minutes from our house is Four Lakes , a typical Midwest resort in that it has minimal vertical and convenient location. In any case, it’ll reintroduce me to the slopes and give us some practice before we head for Breckenridge.
Why snowboarding rather than skiing? Mostly to try something new, but also for pragmatic reasons. Skiing injuries are usually leg-related, while snowboarding is upper body. I’ll still be able to run with a broken wrist, not so much with a torn ACL.

What sports do you do during winter?
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