Sunday, December 26, 2010

Skating Ahead of the Storm

During the height of holiday craziness, sometimes it takes a friend to remind you that nature is not very far away. With no snow on the ground, access to local ponds was a real possibility after a couple of weeks of uninterrupted freezing temperatures, but I hadn't been thinking about it. On Christmas eve, with the sun shining in a blue sky, a friend mentioned she was going skating. I've only been skating in rinks of late, setting up ramps to allow wheelchair access, dispensing ice sleds and walkers from a launch zone at the doorway, with minimal time to actually zoom around myself during program hours. Now at last, was a chance to take a glide on the wild side.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nordic Sitskiing - for families, winter explorers, and serious athletes!

Independent sitskiing at the Weston Ski Track.
We are still waiting for our first good snow here in western Massachusetts but nearby areas already have a foot of snow, so the winter recreation season is not far off. I am looking forward to getting back into a sitski this winter!

Nordic skiing, otherwise known as cross country, is my favorite form of skiing. I love gliding through a snowy landscape on my own power. While nordic skiing has been around for about 4000 years, nordic sitskiing is a more recent adaptation for skiers with spinal cord injuries, though not necessarily limited to people with disabilities. This seated outdoor exercise offers an upper body workout well-suited to those with a lot of strength and energy to burn. If you have use of your abdominal muscles you can use them to great advantage for bursts of speed. Sitskiing, with its lower center of gravity, allows for faster speeds on downhills compared to standskiing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sign Up for Winter Fun in Massachusetts!

Snowshoeing at D.A.R. State Forest
DCR's Universal Access Program announces its Winter 2011 Schedule this week with many wonderful recreation opportunities around the state to enjoy. Visit an indoor program at at state skating rinks to kickstart your outdoor adventures in a warmer environment where you can play on the ice and find out more about outdoor opportunities - or - just head straight for the great white playground at any one of the state park programs listed below! You'll find friendly faces and camaraderie - and all programs are free! Most equipment use comes as part of the program, though some may need to be rented on site for a fee. Call the numbers listed to reserve space and get more information regarding programs. Consider returning to some locations to play on your own! Please contact the site in advance to ensure equipment is available.