Friday, June 10, 2011

Farewell to Fit Family Blog

Though our family fitness hasn't slowed down, my blog postings have.

As the girls get more involved with school and friends, their fitness now includes participation in organized sports in addition to our outings as a family.

It is a bittersweet transition, somewhat like when your first child goes to school and starts learning from someone else.

The kids' schedule now includes baseball games and mountain bike camp and the usual swim lessons. I know the sports schedule will get busier and busier as the girls get older, but I can't think of a better way for kids to spend time with their friends outside school.

We can always count on some family adventures on school vacation. In April, we were lucky to travel to Arizona, where the girls enjoyed climbing the red rocks in Sedona.

For the most part, we'll be right here in the Green Mountain State of Vermont, where all of the spring rain has made it especially green.

Though I'm saying farewell to the blog, my Fit Family book is still available and it makes a great gift for expecting parents.

Happy Summer.

- HH

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sweet Skiing

The promise of gooey, warm maple syrup drizzled over snow got my family back on skis this weekend. Though the skiing is still great, we've transitioned to biking for the kids and marathon training for Tom and me. Given that the sugaring season is so short (for those of us who don't do the labor), we headed to the Trapps sugarhouse for one of our favorite spring rituals.

Despite the forecast for rain, we had sunny skies and 40-degree temps. Our fish scale skis worked well and Ava took off the moment she was in hers. I could only make out her yellow hat in the distance as she headed down to the sugar shack. Julia cruised, too, though I think that she was surprised by the stop-and-go warm snow.

I had just run 19 miles so was happy to devour several donut pieces guilt-free. The kids tried the pickles to cleanse the palate, but preferred sweet to tart. Tom and I had only planned on the short ski to the sugar shack, but the kids were eager to keep skiing, so off we went.

We finished catching some sunshine on the bandstand.

And, on the way home, we bought a new camera as ours is as old as Ava. More zoom and less delay. You might actually be able to see our faces in future blogs!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Off to the Races

We made it to another ski race on the weekend. The girls sure are getting comfortable with the race routine. Our venue was Sleepy Hollow, a quaint inn and touring center tucked in the hills of Huntington, Vermont.

I remember going to the same race last year and carrying Julia up the hill to watch the start of Ava's lollipop race. This year, Julia herringboned right up the big hill to the race course and skied the lollipop course without a parent accompanying her. She was confident, full of smiles, and said that she only fell once.

Ava joined a few boys in the 1st and 2nd grade race and finished so fast that I didn't even have my camera out. I did capture her huge smile when she got her water bottle prize.

We have one more race for Ava in a couple of weeks and then we're hoping to ski to the sugar shack at Trapps to sample sugar on snow. The "sugar" is maple syrup, of course.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Paintball Biathlon

The girls got their first shot at paintball biathlon on a cold, sunny Saturday at the Mountaintop Inn near Killington, Vermont.

The shooting range was located in the middle of a 1K loop. Ava was disappointed that she only got to ski one loop for the 1st and 2nd grade division. She made up for it by skiing multiple laps before the race started and she kept skiing the sidelines after her race. The lollipopers, Julia's category for preschoolers and kindergartners, did not shoot during their 1/2 K race but they did get to try some practice shots. Though the paper-plate target was big, there were not a lot of hits from the younger age groups. Looking through the rifle sight to see the target is a new concept for most of the kids, who are skiers but not shooters.

Ava had the fastest ski time in her group of about 15 girls, but placed second behind a girl who hit more targets. (I don't think Ava hit any.) Her actual ski time beat the boys' times, too, which goes to show that good, classic skiing can be fast even though skating has the look of being fast.

At some point, Ava will learn to skate, which is the required technique for a traditional biathlon. But for now, she and her sister are classic skiing and doing fine. Julia placed third in her group and she skied without poles.

Now, we'll just have to get the girls to practice shooting.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Freedom from the Kids on Martin Luther King Day

I spent the Martin Luther King Day holiday skiing with my husband, a rare treat that we manage about once a year. Both of our kids were invited for a playdate, which left us with a few hours free. The single-digit thermometer reading was intimidating, but the sun was out, which made it feel warmer than it was. I also heard the weather forecaster say that the higher elevations would be warmer than the valley floors. That's really what got me out the door.

Tom had raced the day before so it was a good day for him to go easy. Of course, his easy is hard for me, but going a little faster than usual kept me warm. There was blue sky, powdery trails and snow-covered trees, and the trails we skied on were relatively quiet. I even got a few pointers on my technique (which I asked for and which were helpful).

We enjoyed a quick soak in the fitness center's outdoor hot tub after the ski. Then when I found that my locker was next to a mom with a loud toddler, I moved my clothes to the next room so I could hold onto that relaxed feeling a little longer before picking up my own kids.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stowe Mini-Marathon

Blueberry soup, s'mores, and lots of skiing made up our adventure today in the Stowe Mini-Marathon. The girls both got in their biggest skis: Julia skiing 6K with Daddy and Ava skiing 15 K with me. It was quite an accomplishment.

Ava wanted to be up front though it was a tour not a race. After the first big hill, in which she wanted to be away from her mother, we had a good time until the last couple of kilometers when she fell a couple of times on the downhills. Tom reported that Julia was all smiles. We finished and found lots of yummy treats to gobble up in the yurt making for a sweet end to a long outing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter in New England

What a difference a day can make in New England weather. We got the whole family out for a ski on Saturday. The conditions were perfect for classic skiing and the girls did some team work to ski together.

We also got our family Christmas photo taken, which was a bonus.

Yesterday, Tom skied in blizzard conditions at the Bolton Opener and the girls and I spent an hour in the pool at the Nordic Center. Today, it is full on rain, but the switch to snow comes this afternoon. The forecast looks promising heading into the week and for Thursday's ski program at Trapps.