Wake up from your hibernation with some icy, snowy fun!
Lily Song ASSOCIATE FEATURES EDITOR
Image: U of T, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Have you and your friends fallen deep into the misconception of winter? The misconception that winter is that you must stay indoors to escape the cold to hibernate, to gain nothing more than the rising numbers of your scale. Fear not, dear students, for there are much better ways to spend winter if you only allow yourself to try them; there are seasonal, winter-exclusive sports!
It is much easier for you to try these things as a University of Toronto (U of T) student because university and student organizations such as Move U of T and U of T Sports & Recreation already offer you free admission and equipment to experiment with winter sports right on our campus.
My personal favourite is their skating events, held in the Varsity Arena once a month with different themes. Because it does not happen that often, every time feels special, and I do not feel burdened in taking an hour for a study break to wake up my muscles. It is even better if your friends tag along, because you will be managing to hit two birds with one stone by engaging yourself physically and socially. Plus, your friends will appreciate doing something new compared to your regular meet-up routine, and you can strengthen bonds by placing trust in each other as you frantically hold onto each other’s hands in the hopes of balancing on the ice.
Outside of campus life, try going somewhere new for a wintery getaway by renting a lodge at Blue Mountain Resort! Located just northwest of Collingwood, it is a perfect place to spend your weekend with family and/or a special someone. Blue Mountain offers lodgings of various prices, and most importantly, a skiing program for you to begin so you can learn and ski on your own. One time I invested an entire day at Blue Mountain with a coach and 19 other beginners from their ski program. I had never tried skiing before then, but thanks to my supportive classmates and helpful coach, I finished all of their levels and could glide down the double diamond (the hardest type of ski course) by the next day all by myself!
If exercise is really not for you but you still want the experience, don’t feel discouraged because you can still participate as part of the audience of winter sports teams and enjoy other services offered by Blue Mountain. On our campus alone, we have both female and male hockey Varsity teams as well as the Varsity figure skating team. Students can drop by on game nights and support our university varsity teams. At Blue Mountain, they also offer tubing, which is the ultimate sledding you could ever experience by sledding down their steep mountain range with their specialized tubes to maximize the thrill. They also have a fairly large, picturesque village built just in front of the mountain full of seasonal shops and restaurants that you could get lost in for hours.
And if it all sounds like too much work and time, just throw a snowball at your friend the next time you meet up with them on a snowy day. It is almost certainly guaranteed that they will throw one at you too, and if you keep it up, it will turn into a full-on snow fight!
How do you enjoy winter, and what is considered exercise? Whatever you do, use what you have (either snow or ice) and just keep moving!