It may seem odd that ski equipment sales have reportedly spiked in the province this winter. But it’s not necessarily the slopes that are seeing an increase of Saskatoonians on skis.
Cross country skiing has attracted those looking for a new way to get active outdoors, and Caleb Bryan, masters student in plant sciences, is no different.
Through photographs featured in the “Staying Fit” series, U of S students have taken the Sheaf for a journey in showing the sports and activities they do to keep fit during pandemic life. This part five concludes the series, with Bryan strapping on the skis to stay fit.
Gliding through a thick of trees in Saskatoon’s President Murray Park, Bryan embarks on his weekly ski with the goal of tackling one mile. This is just enough to keep him fresh for competing in an upcoming virtual marathon. Combined with climbing and running, cross country skiing has added a new fitness routine for Bryan, and he doesn’t have to look far from his home to do it.
President Murray Park, located just south of the University of Saskatchewan campus, is one of several parks and golf courses across the city groomed for cross country skiing. The city, along with community associations and local ski clubs all contribute to trail maintenance that opens up kilometres of loops and tracks free for skiers to use.
Cross country skiing requires an ample amount of room, so following standard COVID-19 protocols, such as maintaining two metres of distance from those not in your group, is easy. But finding a pair of skis at this time of year can be another story. Bryan, who snatched up his skis earlier in the season, opted for second-hand equipment from a local recreation store.
With COVID-19 disrupting the regular sporting season, and forcing people to find other ways to exercise, it is clear that cross country skiing has been a popular way to stay in shape.
In a year that has seen major disruption to the sporting world, students have shown the ability to introduce new and innovative approaches to fitness, all contributing to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
But students haven’t backed down. Whether it is inside their own home,in their neighbourhood park or their community rink, students have expanded their fitness limits with the resources and amenities around them.
Nicholas Saretzky | Contributing Photojournalist
Photos: Nicholas Saretzky | Contributing Photojournalist