SNOW BIZ

With all the training, there has been barely any time to get out there and enjoy all the winter sports I really love. As a family, we have been spending some Sundays at the ice skating rink, and I know I have said it before – ice skating is a fantastic work out, but it has also been great fun and extra special bonding time with my husband and kids. But what about skiing and snow tubing? And didn’t I say somewhere along the way that I wanted to learn how to snowboard? We have had an atypically mild weather on the East Coast this season, so getting your snowbound fun time in has been a challenge…but I have been thinking an adventure vacation may be in order!

Maybe a trip out West – snowboarding lessons at Mammoth Mountain? I hear the vistas are like no other in the country. Beautiful and fun! Smuggler’s Notch, up in Vermont, has a great ski program for kids, allowing parents to enjoy the slopes unfettered and teaching the kids some new skills at the same time. Vermont being only a four hour drive, Smuggler’s Notch is definitely doable for us. And let’s face it, Vermont is a little closer than Whistler, which is a favorite spot of so many of my ski buddies – and there is some great snowboarding there too. A lot of my friends have been taking their kids to local mountains for tubing parties – it seems all the little ski mountains have a slope for tubing, but a favorite of our friends is Campgaw Mountain up in Mahwah, NJ. For whatever reason, I think I like snow tubing more than my kids do, so I might take it a step further and venture out for a day trip to Hunter Mountain up in the Catskills. What’s a mere 2 hour drive when there is great fun to be had?!

Of course, I know the “snow” sports present an entirely different set of strains on the body, and new risks for injuries less common to runners and traditional fitness training. Wearing giant sticks or little blades on your feet, the slippery terrain and chill air certainly add to that risk. But I know there are those of you out there who are avid winter sports enthusiasts… you love the rush of speeding down that mountain, the wind whipping against your face….you even travel far and wide for that rush. How do you prevent the twisted ankle or busted knee? Are knees and ankles your biggest concern? Do you wear specific protective gear, aside from helmets and goggles and thermal undergarments?

What are your favorite adventure vacations and wintertime sports? Is there a favorite mountain you visit? Something different the folks in your area do during the wintertime? We want to hear it all, because Spring is coming!

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