AT RANDOM: Riding the winter blues

The sunny Okanagan has not been living up to its name for quite some time and frankly, it’s getting on my nerves

The sunny Okanagan has not been living up to its name for quite some time and frankly, it’s getting on my nerves.

From a young age, winter was something I looked forward to for one reason: hitting the slopes. No matter how dreary and grey it is in town, heading up above the clouds to Silver Star always makes me happy. Even if it’s cloudy up there, there’s  magic to the scent of the pine trees and the scent of the mountain air. The snow even seems to have a scent, although I suspect that’s not possible.

But this year, I’m right there with everyone else whining about winter, thanks to a knee injury I incurred on the very first day of skiing, halfway down the first run.

Much pain, swelling and inability to walk without a limp followed. I figured it would get better and wasn’t too worried as I had Christmas to get through, so January I’d be back up on the hill.

No such luck: official diagnosis is a torn ACL. Apparently we need a functioning anterior cruciate ligament to help connect the femur to the tibia.

When I told my husband that I’m sick of winter and I can’t take another day without sun he pointed out that it’s always like this in January. Is it? I don’t remember. Every January we’re up at Silver Star, interrupted last year by a tropical vacation, so I don’t really remember.

A recent long weekend in Vancouver didn’t help. Yes, it rains a lot there, but when it’s not, there’s nowhere I’d rather be (in the northern hemisphere anyway): sunny, not a cloud in the sky, no icy sidewalks to pick through and no toques or gloves required. It was blissful.

I now understand that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. I used to wonder how people got through winter without taking part in some kind of winter sport. I still wonder.

So while the movements involved in downhill skiing aren’t recommended at the moment, I’m planning on making the most of winter and so will be skating, tubing and snowshoeing. Anything to get above the clouds. Or I’ll sit with a book and a latte and pretend I’m still a skier.

Meanwhile, it turns out that when you’re not skiing, there is a lot to do.

With last week off work, I managed to get to some early spring cleaning: purging the house of things we no longer need and donating them to a good cause; organizing photographs from last year’s aforementioned holiday; all of the things that most of us can’t get to, between working full-time, looking after children and running a household.

And when you’re not rushing up to the hill every weekend, there is a lot going on down here. I’ve actually been to a few movies, gone to the fabulous children’s show, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre; been skating at Kal Tire Place; the dog is getting a lot more weekend walks; and I’m not completely fried from fresh mountain air at 4 in the afternoon.

Still, I’m determined to be a star physical therapy patient so I can resume normal activities before the end of the season, as I look forward to once again feeling that wonderful exhaustion that only a day playing in the mountains provides.