Family life

What I learned when I decided to take it easy

Jennifer took a break from running to revisit her passion for snowshoeing

By Jennifer Pinarski
What I learned when I decided to take it easy

Snowshoeing made me slow down - exactly what I needed to do

Two Christmases ago, my husband gave me snowshoes. I had been dropping hints that I wanted snowshoes, so I should have been excited to get what I wanted. What I had pictured were a pair of lightweight and sleek running snowshoes that I could cross train in. At the time we were living on the farm and there were hundreds of acres of flat pastures and fields for me rip through. I pictured snowshoe racing and hours of exploring.
Instead I unwrapped a pair of cumbersome wooden snowshoes. They had Winter Leisure stamped on them. I do NOTHING at a leisurely pace. I smiled politely (Mr. P totally picked up that I was disappointed). The snowshoes got put away and shortly after that we left the farm. The snowshoes, still with their price tags attached, came with us and stayed buried at the bottom of a box of winter clothing. 
After my 21-day running streak in January ended, I’ve had a hard time getting back into running. Between a travelling spouse, kids that never seem to be free from colds, crummy weather and me just being burned out, lacing up my shoes stopped being a priority. One hundred percent of my energy went into trying to get my kids healthy again (which meant for the last month, I’ve been sick at least every two weeks). If it wasn’t for teaching the Learn to Run clinic at the local Running Room, I doubt I would have gone out at all. Even then, running on a slippery city street aggravated my IT band so I’m dodging injury as well.
For a blogger that’s supposed to inspire you to be active, how’s that for uplifting?
After a particularly "pinchy" Saturday (our kids fought like crazy and I did a lot of yelling and crying), I needed to get out of the house and burn off some steam. Running shoes didn’t appeal to me, and neither did the snowshoes. But snowshoes would force me to slow down and give my IT band a break. So I held my nose and strapped the snowshoes on and headed for the crown land behind our cottage home.
Immediately I felt better. No noise from my family. No watch to track my pace. Super hilly terrain kept me on my toes (or on my butt, I was constantly tripping and falling over). I hadn’t been on snowshoes in about 25 years and exploring the woods behind my house brought back wonderful memories of elementary school field trips. 
Slowing down is what I needed — and I’m secretly hoping that the groundhog was right about there being six more weeks of winter.
This article was originally published on Feb 20, 2012

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