do as the nordics do.

Posted on Dec 26, 2011 in Travel

When Babyface first proposed the idea of surprising his family for Christmas, I said it was okay by me just as long as we set some healthy ground rules. When we came here last year, both of us used it as an excuse to drown ourselves in baked goods, booze, and lounging on the couch. Some of that is great in moderation, but by the time we flew home we were both feeling rotten and fighting off a cold. So this year, I suggested that we make eating clean and exercising a priority. We’ve done great! We went grocery shopping the first full day here and have been eating good snacks and well-rounded meals. And instead of logging hours on the treadmill, we decided we’d get our activity in and experience the great white north at the same time. Enter cross country skiing.

I have never really done any kind of snow sports (well, other than sledding) so this was definitely an interesting experience for me. I fell no less than a dozen times, but giggled each time. I finally got the hang of it after about half an hour, but I’m sure I still looked like an awkward fool. Especially when I was giggling uncontrollably while speeding down hills. They were my favorite part!

Babyface was, of course, a total rockstar. It was fun the see him in his element. I sometimes forget that we live in a place that is pretty different from his home culture. There were three-year olds blowing past me on the trails; these type of winter sports are just part of what a Northwestern Ontario family does. Kinda like how my family grew up swimming and playing basketball. He was obviously having so much fun and I felt a little bad that my slow-moving American self held him up. Side note: my husband in ski gear and being a patient and kind instructor? Total swoon. I am such a lucky, lucky girl.

I can definitely tell how cross country skiing could be a major good cardio and strength workout if you could, you know, stay up on the skiis for an extended period of time. Even with my short bursts, I could feel it in my arms and thighs. I am definitely sore. And I don’t think all of it was from falling on my bum.

The exercise was great, but the best part about being out on the trails was getting to see this part of the country unspoiled. It was so beautiful out there. Pretty much anywhere you looked you could snap a picture and it could be someone’s Christmas card. You could not pick a better setting for Christmas.


We had other plans for winter sports (snowboarding and snowshoeing) but the lack of snow in the area put a hitch in our schedule. It finally snowed the day before Christmas Eve and I’m thankful we were able to get out and “go for a ski” (as they say up here) before all the Christmas parties and dinners. The temperature has been pretty mild, so we’ve also been able to get out and hike up some of the nearby mountains and play out in the snow. Who needs a treadmill when you have an amazing guide for a husband and miles and miles of unspoiled winter wonderland?

I leave you with this ridiculous video of me trying to ski up a teeny tiny hill. Awkward American is awkward. I’ve been (lovingly) poking fun at my Canadian siblings-in-law all week for being Canadian. My belated Christmas gift to them is this video. Which should provide enough ammunition for mocking me to last at least until next Christmas.

Have you ever been cross country skiing?

4 Comments

  1. Looks beautiful there! What a wonderful place to spend Christmas!

  2. A friend of mine moved to North Bay when we were finished university and I am always amazed by the beauty when I go see her…only 6 hours from where I live but so different and lovely. Glad you are having a great, healthy time there!

  3. I love* xc skiing, but then again I’m Norwegian. :D

    *ok, so I love skiing uphill, but downhill can be rather terrifying.

  4. Looking great Cass!! That’s about what I looked like when Lucas was snowboarding in Tahoe last winter and I was just trying to stay upright. :) Great ab workout, isn’t it!?

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