a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Jan, 2015

Further to yesterday’s post…

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa

Another thing I learned, or relearned in this case, was how much I enjoy skiing.

On Saturday we revisited trail #26 in the Stony Swamp vicinity of Ottawa. I realized that cross-country skiing is not unlike riding a bike. You never really forget. And as soon as my boot clicked into the ski I felt it. It’s as if that click sends a signal to my brain. HERE. WE. GO.

The girls have gotten so good they practically leave us in the dust. Of course, I’m always bringing up the rear, because I like to stop and take a photo. Or two. Or four.

First ski of the season. NCC trail #26

NCC ski trails


NCC Cross country ski trail, Stony Swamp

It wasn’t a sunny day, but the weather was fine and the snow was snowy.

It so want to remember these breathless and beautiful moments, and how fortunate we are that we can do this kind of thing so close to home.

I tried skiing mindfully, with all of my senses this time around. Seeing, hearing, breathing. Skiing is a sensory activity, although you’d be forgiven if you didn’t make that connection right away. It is magical. The only thing that could have made our excursion better? A thermos hot coffee, enjoyed right at the end. (Note for next time!)

You want to know something cool? As we were leaving we encountered an unusually large group of people getting ready to head out on the trail. Normally people tend to ski in much smaller groups, even solo, so seeing a dozen strapping on their skis at once was a bit odd. One of the gentlemen asked Mark to take a photo, and of course he obliged. As it turns out, this was a group of recent immigrants on an intro-to-skiing adventure, with participants hailing from all kinds of different countries in the middle east. They’d never been on skis before. I’m so glad there are people who (a) are offering this kind of experience for people and (b) are adventurous types who go along for the ride, even though the idea of strapping sticks to your feet and sliding through the forest might seem a little unfamiliar and otherworldly.

A quick ski in the woods is quite a lovely welcome though, don’t you think? Welcome to Canada, welcome to Ottawa, welcome to winter.

3 Responses to "Further to yesterday’s post…"

1 | White out

January 15th, 2015 at 9:22 am


It is magic. Try night skiing at that same location. Headlamps and the cover of darkness. Twice the magic. Promise.

2 | Sarah McCormack

January 19th, 2015 at 6:30 pm


I love that……. the skiing and the sentiment. It inspires me to see new Canadians trying these things! fantastic!

3 | White out

January 21st, 2015 at 1:45 pm


Speaking of new Canadians…if you ever get a chance, DO ATTEND a citizenship ceremony. Very moving.

I wept. Seriously.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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