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Lessons From Bad Snow Years Of The Past

A Rollerski workout on a dark December evening can be mentally challenging.

The past several winters in the Midwest have been generally fantastic for XC Skiers. The last three winters in particular have been extraordinary in terms of skiable days per winter. All indications point toward this winter being stellar for Nordic skier in the Midwest.

However, over the years we endured some bad winters with very little snow. I recall a couple of "Brown Christmases" in the region. Just like so many other things in life, when life serves up lemons, make some lemonade!

In the event of a low snow year, you can take comfort in the fact that your fellow competitors are likely not getting in the quality training that they normally would. I recall during the bad snow winters motivating myself by knowing that when I would do a tough ski specific workout, my competition likely wasn't. One workout at a time, I diligently worked myself toward improved race results.

In a bad snow year, when the snow finally did fall, as per usual, it is reason to celebrate! Even if there is only a little bit of snow.

I recall one such "celebration" on Christmas Day with my dad and brother at Timberland Hills several years ago. You see, we were carefully gathering the bit of snow with shovels that had fallen overnight and packing it into a thin ribbon of snow down the middle of the trail. We spent literally the entire day doing this and the fruit of our labor was a 1 kilometer stretch of skiable snow - likely the only skiable snow within a 60 mile radius. The other result of this was realizing that we were so exhausted from shoveling all day that we needed to eat before going out skiing.

We arrived back at our ribbon of snow to enjoy a couple hours of going back and forth on this little piece of snowy utopia, celebrating the fact that we weren't on rollerskis!

This fall, when the daylight dwindles and we're waiting for snow, force yourself out the door for a workout - you'll be glad you did. Each workout puts you closer to your goals this ski season, what ever they may be. Additionally, we're Nordic skiers, people of the snow - celebrate the snow and get out in it when it falls this year!

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