January is a great month. Christmas and the holidays are over. The days begin getting perceptively longer. The weather is cold and in Colorado it is actually a generally dryer month. Still, with any luck there is plenty of snow for alpine and nordic skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and enjoying the outdoors in winter.
1. Clean up after the holidays. Maybe it is time to “retire” some of the broken, worn-out and obsolete Christmas decorations? You know, the decorations that haven’t come out of storage for several holiday seasons?
On second thought…nah. They all have meaning and memories attached to them.
2. Try something new! Yes, we all make New Year’s resolutions, even if we don’t write them down or share them. I am going on record, right here, right now, stating that I hope to try freestyle cross-country skiing during January. I have found a coach. Now I just need to scam or rent some skate ski gear.
January is National Learn A Snow Sport Month. If you or someone in your family has been wanting to learn to ski or ride, do it now! There are great Learn To Ski/Snowboard (LTS) deals at many resorts during January. Check the website of your local mountain or check out the full list on the Learn a Snow Sport website.
3. Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, sometimes we skiers think more about the advantages of a three-day weekend in mid-January than about teaching our children the legacy of MLK.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t take advantage of a bonus Monday on the snow, but if you are interested in learning more about Martin Luther King, Jr. with your family, I recommend the film Our Friend Martin. An animated, hour-long film from 1999, Our Friend Martin recounts Dr. King’s childhood and imagines what life would be like today if he had lived. Good stuff for all ages.
4. Gear up for basketball. Football is over (at least for us hapless Bronco fans). Junior B-ball and college hoops are in full gear. I don’t really care about the pros (although the success of the Nuggets can at least help to redeem the Broncos dismal season). My favorite hoops are 6th and 8th grade recreational league. I have two favorite players. Can you guess who?
5. Don’t forget hockey. Compared to December, January is a breath of (relaxing) fresh air, perfect for spending some time on ice. Last year, we lived in nature’s deep-freeze for about 6 weeks and the pond hockey was excellent. This year is too warm. But even if we can’t skate outdoors, we will still cheer on our Avs and Colorado College Tigers.
6. I almost forgot…Ski! Well, I didn’t forget, but is just seemed so obvious. I’ve been busy visiting new mountains and interviewing skiers from New England to Idaho. Look for posts on family skiing at Park City, Bogus Basin, and Smuggler’s Notch, just to name a few.
Whatever you do in January…Enjoy! And here’s to a prosperous, healthy and Happy New Year!
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