I’m not a big fan of snow or the winter. Besides the pleasure of sitting in front of a window during a snowy episode with a hot drink or a stiff one, adult usually means that snow brings shovelling, trouble starting one’s car, difficulty getting into work or being cold while outside. That being said, there’s something to be said for being outside when the weather is mild, enjoying the crisp air and winter scenery. Last Saturday, Nathan and I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours ripping down a small hill located in our neighbourhood.
Nathan was lucky to have this ski-based sled as a Christmas gift from his uncle Jayden. For almost a month, it’s been sitting in our newly-renovated basement space with Nathan sitting on it to eat and watch Netflix, dreaming of the day he would be able to rip down a slope with it. With recent temperatures getting as low as -50 degrees Celsius with the wind factor, it’s been difficult to get Nathan or even myself, outside for any extended period of time. But Saturday showed a cold of only -4 degrees with some sunny conditions. So we were good to go and not a day too soon.
We arrived at a site in northern Regina called Mount Pleasant, which has been groomed and is the location of dozens of people who were sledding as well. Nathan was a champ, dragging his sled up the hill himself with every run. I also brought along a crazy carpet that our neighbour donated to Nathan a couple of months ago. I took advantage of the opportunity to take a few rips down the slope but it was quite a different experience from what I recall in my youth. My added age and weight made it so that I essentially felt every lump and hole on the slope. It was actually a bit painful, although I enjoyed the experience.
After a few runs, I let Nathan have at it while I stayed at the top of the hill and chatted with some of the other parents. Despite the mild temperature, a cold wind started to whip through and make it difficult to stay warm. Nathan was having a blast, so I sucked it up. I also couldn’t help but enjoy the scenery, as the hill allowed for a very nice view of the city of Regina (pictured above). Some of the other parents were well prepared, having brought hot drinks, water bottles for the kids and sporting thermal snow pants and such. I had a pair of long underwear under cotton pants, since I have no snow pants.
As kids are usually inclined to, Nathan befriended a couple of young boys and they traded sleds back and forth so that everyone had the opportunity to try out different ways to go down the slope. Nathan also tried out the crazy carpet, which was entertaining since there’s no way to steer that thing so one is more inclined to wipe out while sliding. Nathan had a blast whipping down the hill and tumbling as he went.
Winter can be a challenge, since the cold and inclement weather can have the unfortunate effect of making people turn into hermits and stay indoors. It was definitely good to get outside and spend some time in the fresh air, even if I was shivering towards the end. It was also important to let Nathan run wild outside for a bit. Kids don’t do very well when they’re cooped up for too long. Although Nathan has the opportunity to spend every morning outside when he walks to school, it isn’t quite the same as getting outside to run and play.
Last but not least, since Diabetes is an ever-present consideration in everything I do, there had to be some blood sugar involvement. I’ve noticed that cold weather usually drops my blood sugar levels significantly. I did suffer a low while we were at the hill but I was prepared with some fast-acting carbohydrates, so it was a non-issue. It’s simply a reminder of the constant need to stay on my guard. We had a lot of fun and a huge thank you goes out to my friend Jayden, Nathan’s uncle, for such a wonderful gift. I know Nathan is looking forward to going back and using his sled further. ☯️