Finding my Winter Sport

For those who know me, this declaration should come as little shock. I can’t stand winter. The runny noses, the cold, the nonchalance about shaving your legs, the tans fading (or in my case, 50% of my freckles), cleaning off your car… I generally want no part of it. I will, however, make an exception for winter fashion. I adore winter outwear. Still, the cons outweigh the pros for me, which through the years has tended to isolate me from fun activities in the nine months of winter in the Granite State. For example, as one of the more screamingly apparent ways that show that I am not a born and bred New Englander, I didn’t really try skiing until I was a freshman in college. Attending college at Plymouth, where they get a day off each year entitled “Ski Day”, always seemed to turn into a day for movies and raiding the near empty dining hall while a majority of campus was out being awesome on mountains. But no more, my friends. I have found my winter sport at last.

We all worked those weird jobs in college that are now great fodder for story telling. One of my jobs was working as a “liftie” for Pat’s Peak. The perks of this job included free rentals and lift tickets, which I assume was much of the draw for the people I worked with. This is when I first gave an honest attempt to learn how to ski. Admittedly, I can ski, but I’m much better at falling while skiing. I also tend to forget how to stop or steer. Snowboarding, for me, is 100% out of the question. Coordination is often not on my side. After one winter of working at Pat’s, with a few runs under my belt, I hung up my hat on skiing.

1

Now some of you might be thinking, “hey Erin, there are more winter sports than skiing or snowboarding. Didn’t Plymouth build some ice arena or something?”. Yes, yes they did. During a few trips of staff bonding, we did go ice-skating. I’ll let this super embarrassing photo speak for itself about how that has gone for me. Notice the deer in the headlights, lack of forward motion in this shot. When your man-friend is skating circles around you and holding your hand (aka dragging you) to help you skate, it is not nearly as romantic as in the movies. Ice skating? I’ll keep the bench warm.

So, coming to terms with being in the slim category of “no winter sport” has been a long time coming. However, a group outing with work this past week had shed some light on a less skill-based & more fun option… tubing.

2As this month’s team bonding, we decided to go tubing at nearby Granite Gorge, which turned out to be a great time! It was the perfect snowy day and there were very few people there, as we went at 2:30 on a weekday.  There is a designated hill for tubing only, and you have your pick of a few different sizes and style tubes, ranging from small to large and double to single tubes. There is a “magic carpet” to get you to the top of the hill, so there’s really minimal effort involved. The rules are pretty lax also, but not unsafe.

3

We had a group of around eight of us, and we all went down as one big pod a few times, but also rode as single riders and in smaller groups. The staff will also whip you around in circles, if you want, to spiral down the hill. If you have turned up your nose at tubing before, thinking it’s for babies and grandma, you’re right- that’s exactly what it’s for… and it’s awesome. Winter sport of choice? Found.