Embracing winter

I was talking with someone who just moved here from the UK. He said he was looking forward to our cold weather and that he was planning to “embrace” the winter.

Everyone uses that word,  “embrace.”

I told him that every year for the past 47, I too tell myself I am going to “embrace the winter” and after a few hours find myself crunching on the cold snow or scraping off thick sheets of ice from my wind shield, muttering and swearing to myself  “it’s not f-ing HUMAN to live like this.”

Probably because, to embrace the winter, one has to embrace winter SPORTS. And sports and me have never had a chummy relationship. (A couple of years ago, my son asked me in all seriousness, “Mummy, do you know how to run?”)

When I was in elementary school, my parents sent me “up north” for weekly ski lessons. I took the t-bar up the hill once, fell off upon arrival at the top, marched back down the hill and vowed never to go back again. (Instead I spent my parents’ money every Wednesday taking refuge in the ski boot rental shop where I helped the manager sort boots all day long.)

In high school, a friend offered to teach me how to skate. In the end she pulled me around the rink by my long scarf. It was easier for both of us (although come to think of it maybe she was trying to choke me and put us both out of our misery).

And some of you were the unlucky recipients of photos of the cataclysmic bruise on the inside of my thigh a few years ago as a result of cross country skiing. I was feeling that I was finally on my way to “embracing” winter. Instead I embraced a tree at the bottom of a HUGE hill. Okay not so huge but nobody had thought to teach me how to stop.

Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate the beauty of winter. As long as I’m sitting inside. I have just come to the conclusion that, despite my Russian heritage, I was born in the wrong country and am reminded of this fact every Canadian winter.

Although shouldn’t it count that at least I have learned how to embrace winter FASHION?

I’m sure in some countries (like the one in which I was supposed to be born) there are gold medals for this.


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