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The October 2016 OUTSIDE Magazine ran an article RANKING THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST OUTDOOR SPORTS. “Oh No” I thought, here it comes again! I reluctantly read on, hoping the answer would not be what I anticipated, but sadly there is was. The WINNER IS…..da da da….NORDIC SKIING! We’ve all heard for years about what a great all body workout XC skiing is, and it’s true; XC recruits all sorts of body parts and movements that can challenge our muscles, brains, and cardio that, if one desires, can lead to an amazing workout.

As a lover of XC I wish we would quit talking about how TOUGH it is and start talking about how FUN it is. I’m so nuts about all the romantic stuff of XC that I want to get everyone out to it. So many times in lessons, I’ve had students come reluctantly because some friend or family member is dragging them there, but once they step through the curtain and into the Winter Wonderland, they feel the magic. When I hear “this is so cool”, I get a smile on my face knowing that they feel XC. It’s the beauty, the glide, the quiet, the friendship, the nature, the cold, that they are enjoying, not how tough it is.

I fear we are marketing this wonderful sport all wrong. I enjoyed all the info in the Outside article because I love the fitness element to all of the outdoor activities I choose to do, but is labeling a sport as THE TOUGHEST getting more folks off the couch and into the woods? If I’m that guy that hasn’t been too active, and wants to get up and start moving, I’m surely not going to start with the World’s Toughest Sport! How about the Worlds Funnest Sport? That sounds good!

So to all you avid skiers, let’s make sure when we are telling coworkers, friends, and family about our amazing weekend of skiing that we focus on the MAGIC that new skiers will, hopefully, feel when they step through the curtain into the Winter Wonderland. That’s what will get more folks in the woods, not war stories of how far you went and how trashed you were. Then, when they give it a shot and feel the magic, they can let the Funnest Sport in the world take them down whatever path they desire. Racing isn’t necessarily the final destination for everyone, but that’s another article for sure.

Full article link:
Outside Magazine: Ranking the World’s Toughest Sports

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