Video/photos by: Dagley Media
“The Laker Song” at the start and end performed by DeeDee Austin, of Lakeview. (May 2020)
OAKFIELD: The snow was fresh and soft after a recent snowfall on Feb. 9, so what better then to try my hand at cross-country skiing and making the provincial team.
I know I could do it. I was full of hope, and this session was going to prove I could be a team member on the 2021 team.
Shortly before 4 p.m., I grabbed my snow pants, my Quebec Canada Games jacket that I was given (thanks again to that awesome guy who did); my mitts and a toque, and off I went to the trails at Oakfield Golf & Country Club.
It’s an interesting story on how the trails—one for cross-country skiing and one for multi-use (dogs; walking; and snowshoeing)—came about. The trails are groomed in partnership with Halifax Nordic Ski Club.
“Oakfield Golf & Country club approached Halifax Nordic about cross-country skiing,” said Lorenzo Caterini with Halifax Nordic in an email interview. “They have been great corporate partners and are great for the community.”
It’s not an easy thing keeping the trails groomed properly.
“This is why we ask users to join our club,” he said. “Halifax Nordic provides the equipment, but it’s Oakfield staff that does the grooming.”
In total, Halifax Nordic grooms six park in different geographical areas to all as many ski days as possible.
“A grass venue like Oakfield requires less snow than traditional trails,” said Caterini.
Back to my attempt to make the team, it was time to get some quick lessons from athletes Jack MacMillan; Emma Archibald; and Grace McIntyre. It’s McIntyre’s fifth year on the team, and she’s no stranger to The Laker News having been featured for her skiing several times.
Pat falls down go boom
The first step for me was to get my skis attached to my boots, and Eric McIntyre, an avid skier himself and Grace’s dad, helped me with that. After it was time to get my ski poles put on properly. Thanks Grace!
(Eric is the mainland coach for the provincial team.)
As we have video of the lesson, I don’t need to go into much detail. I put all I had into the effort of making my case on why I should be considered to make the team. That I had what it takes.
(I apologize to those users on the trails that well, we were in the middle of and were in your way for this. Sorry. Most seemed okay and understood. They’ll see why now.)
Sure, I couldn’t do ballet; taekwondo-do with Inner Strength; or wasn’t a boxing champion; and didn’t excel at being a hockey goalie. I was sure, this was what I was meant to do.
I was meant to be a cross-country skiing athlete with Team Nova Scotia.
After a quick session and trying it out myself, plus an interview with the athletes, it was time to learn my fate.
Heck, I only fell down once, so that was a win right there, and should have earned me marks towards making the team, right?
It was all up to how Eric and how the team members thought I did in learning the tips they gave me.
The answer from Eric devastated me. He said I wasn’t ready to make the team. My dreams were shattered that I could not join my friends Grace, Emma, and Jack on the team.
As Eric told me the sad news, each of the team members came by and gave me a supportive “good try” pat on the shoulder.
I guess it means I go back to the drawing board to see what I can try my hand at should this journalism thing not work out.
If you are interested in trying out cross-country skiing, check out the provincial squad’s website at https://crosscountryns.ca/ .
If you enjoy trails, you’re invited to support grooming efforts and costs, by purchasing a Halifax Nordic membership by going to: https://halifaxnordic.ca/membership/