One of the best things about our sport of Nordic skiing is that it is a sport for all ages. How many high school football players are still playing at 50 (or even 25) years old? This makes it a great family activity, as everyone can participate. I have it particularly good, as my dad has always been a skier (although mostly downhill when I was growing up) and is always willing to hop into a race or some crazy endurance adventure. My wife is also my best training partner, and by far my greatest motivation to work out (I have to keep up with her!). She has also been a fantastic sport and has been willing to leave the comfort and speed of her running shoes to wobble around on rollerskis trying to learn a sport that can take frustratingly long to feel comfortable.
This year, even my mom has gotten into the act. She has always been an avid walker (and she can really move!), but she never did much more than the occasional cross country ski in the winter. However the past couple of winters she (I think feeling a little sorry for Nichole, as well as wanting to improve her fitness) has been out more, and even got skate equipment. My dad and I have been giving some pointers, but this spring he (and Greg) managed to talk my mom into joining Sisu Skiers. She has loved it so far! She got a pair of Marwe combis, and has been going out on her own and practicing. I worried about how she would get the balance (since she has had minimal skating on snow experience, and she had a pretty serious knee injury in the BWCA a couple years ago), but she has actually picked that part up quite well (I think years of downhill skiing and some limited rollerblading with my sister have helped). The irony is all that worrying about rollerskiing didn't account for other freak accidents... since last Thursday at Sisu Skiers practice (a dryland practice at battle creek) one of the guys there accidentally ran into her and she landed awkwardly on her arm. Unfortunately the ensuing trip to the ER revealed that she broken the end of her radius at her elbow, and her rollerskiing will be on hiatus for the near future. Hopefully she will have the speediest of recoveries, since I know she would much rather be out with her group of Sisu Skier newbies.
Winter days on snow are wonderful, but not nearly so when spent alone every day. I just want to thank my family for participating in this great sport, and in doing so supporting me and all the fun I have skiing.
Hopefully I won't kill you all in the process :)