A Californian doing Swedish Winter Sports, take 1
I come from California. In the winter we have soccer. When it is cold out we put on a sweat shirt.
Here Sweden is completely different. Lately it has been freezing (which is normal for February). And sometimes it is too cold to do any sports, even the winter ones. But once in awhile we get those nice days and it is great to get out in the sun while we can and exercise!
Last weekend, after a year of not snowboarding, we finally got a chance to hit the slopes! We went to a small local slope that cost 10 euros for the day. Before you get too excited, note that the slope was only open for 4 hours. But for me, a complete beginner (I had only just learned to snowboard two years before), it was great.
Took me awhile to get the hang of it and remember what my instructor said (weight on the front foot, steer with your rear foot, and keep that rear leg straight!) but once I did it was fun! The locals were super nice too. As you can see in the video below, I am no expert:
The guy running the ski lift was very encouraging, and one of the women said I was very brave for trying (didn’t get good video of my fun falls!) It was great for the encouragement, and it was nice to see how everyone was so eager to practice their English (though granted me and my Swede were not speaking Swedish with each other – they probably figured I didn’t know it!
And a little something about how small the world is, when we were taking a break in the hot lodge a women came up to us saying she couldn’t help to hear I was American and asked where I was from. Turned out that she lived in the bay area (San Francisco area) for 20 years and only in the last 4 years moved back to Sweden. Wow! I guess she never thought she would see an American skiing at her local slope in her small town. And I didn’t think I’d run into a Swede who lived in the States for so long! It was pretty cool to chat with her, and makes me look forward to my next trip back.
Learning to Cross Country Ski
Because it is so cold in Sweden, winter sports are a must. Cross country skiing is a very popular sport among Swedes. Probably because the tracks are everywhere, and completely free for public use. So my father-in-law decided to take me out cross country skiing.
Now, keep in mind I had never been on skis before. And the instructions I got before trying this sport was “follow me!” I had no idea what I was doing. That was the fun part, at least for them! So I try my first cross country hill. Not as bad as I imagined. And makes me want to try to go a bit faster next time I go snowboarding!
All in all it was a great weekend and so much fun to participate in these Swedish winter sports. Now I can only improve and next time impress you with how awesome I am! 🙂