It's time to make your New Year resolutions — 2016 is here! Rather than making negative "I shall not" resolutions, I now adopt the "I will try to" style of resolutions. Over the years, I've found more success establishing new good habits rather than expunging old bad habits.
I'm working on my new positive resolutions. Some have to do with personal goals of organizing and down-sizing. Others have to do with learning new skills, staying active, socializing more and increasing my enjoyment of life and people. Many of these I can accomplish through cross-country skiing.
My 2016 Nordic New Year's Resolutions:
Exercise more frequently: In winter, if there's snow, that means more cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Being outside in the woods, enjoying nature and getting a vigorous, low-impact workout is not only good for me, it's fun!
Improve balance, strength, and coordination: Cross-country skiing is a great way to work on all of these. Balance is the first thing I have to get right. Strength comes into play, as my muscles hold that balance and propel me forward. Precise timing and coordination of these movements makes the skis fly. No matter how long you've been skiing, you can always improve your technique.
Spend time with friends: Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing are even more fun when you share them with friends and others. Plan your own outing or join a group tour like Jackson's Friday Gliders and Sliders, Bretton Wood's Thursday WRENegades group, or Great Glen Trails' Sunday Ski with Naturalist. For snowshoeing, take a friend on guided nature tours at Jackson, Great Glen Trails, Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring, Bretton Woods, and King Pine. Enjoy the trails together this new year.
Have more adventures: This year I want to try trails unknown. I can ski the National Forest ski trails like Beaver Brook, Hayes Copp, Pinkham Notch, and Zealand. Milan Hill State Park, north of Berlin, has groomed ski and snowshoe trails. At Franconia, Crawford, Effingham's Pine River, and Tamworth's Hemenway State Forests, there are ungroomed ski and snowshoe trails. Try something new and enjoy the adventure.
Share the love of Nordic skiing with others: Whether I'm teaching skiing, writing this column, or taking my two year old grandson skiing, my goal is for everyone to have fun cross-country skiing. I hope they'll discover that cross-country skiing is a great way to enjoy winter while exercising.
Make this year better than the last. Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing with friends and family. Improve your technique and become a Nordic adventurer. Embrace winter as you glide along through the woods and fields, making your new year Nordic tracks.
Sally McMurdo is an avid cross-country skier who explores the winter woods of New England on skis and snowshoes. She is currently a cross-country ski instructor at Jackson Ski Touring Foundation in Jackson, New Hampshire.
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