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Snowshoe hiking

How I discovered a Slower Pace to Life

A story of a passonate skier through and through. That was until, somewhat reluctantyl, she gave snowshoe hiking a go - and fell in love all over again. 

Some of my friends want to go snowshoe hiking and invite me to come along with them. Snowshoe hiking? I know that's what some people like to do. After all, we live in a free country. Word on the street is there are also people who go out walking - or Nordic walking, to give it its proper name - through the forest with poles instead of just going for a jog. But snowshoeing? That's not for me, I think to myself. " Sorry, but I'm a skier", I say to my friends. I used to race and once, when I was little, I even came second in a slalom competition. I've got a photo of myself proudly lifting up a trophy almost as big as I am. Skiing is in my blood. My parents were skiers as were my grandparents before them. Skiing is my everything, my one true love. There's hardly anything I delight in more than speeding downhill. Why should I torutere myself battling uphill?
But my friends give me no choice and drag me out with them. At least snowshoes no longer look like tennis rackets these days, I think to myself as I put a pair on and thighten the straps. They are as light as a feather, actually. Much better than the heavy monstrosities I had imagined. Then suddenly we're off. Or rather, everyone else is. I trip - and land flat on my face in the snow. "Oh look, our skier", my friends call out, bursting into laugther. You just wait. May competitive streak comes out and I start to follow them.
At first I'm afraid that I'll get the contraptions under my feet stuck on a tree root hidden under the snow. But I don't, and soon end up getting into the swing of it. The slope is getting steeper and I can hear the rhythmic crunching of my steps in the snow intermingled with my heavy yet even breathing and my heart beating. Before I know it, snowhsoe hiking turns into a type of meditation. I'm enjoyoing travelling at a slower pace. Me, the former racer! 
As we climb above the tree line, an endless, glistening blanket of snow stretches before us. I briefly take off my sunglasses and am dazzled by the winter sun, the bright light making my squinting eyes water. It's no long before we reach the lonely mountain hut. It's so serene up here without the whirring ski lifts and crowds of people. I notice how hungry I am. I never would have thought that snowshoeing could be so strenuous yet fulfilling at the same time. My rumbling stomach is the only thing disturbing the peace and quiet. We unpack our speck sandwiches and our thermos flasks of tea. When I unstrap my snowshoes, I keep padding along shakily and clumsily. 
"What shall we do next weekend?" ask my friends. I mull it over. Perhaps it's time for a new passion. Or at least a second one alongside skiing. "Next weekend? Snowshoe hiking, of course," I say, rasing a toast to everyone with the cap of my thermos flask.


From: COR 2 - The Local Magazine
Text: Debora Nischler
Editorial: Ex Libris, Bozen
Year of publishing: 2019