Big Snowy Sledding Smiles

My kids are in 6th and 4th grades and until yesterday we'd never taken them sledding. Life had always been "too busy" to carve out a chunk of time to put on all the warm gear, get sleds together and find a hill. And that made me sad. You see, every time there's a good snow fall, I think of the days when my father or my sister would take me to Shadyside Park for some good old fashioned fun.

In reality, I think I have been the block to this traditional winter activity. I've spent so many years too fat and too depressed to consider sledding even close to fun. Now that I've lost some weight and feel good [thank you (mostly) dairy-free, gluten-free, protein-rich, low-carb (and so on) diet], I'm ready to live life. In fact, I'm craving it.

So, yesterday, I convinced the family that we had the time. No one argued. Not a bit. We aired up that snow tube we'd bought years ago, the one that had remained neatly folded in its package awaiting a chance to slide. We found the foam sled the kids have used to drag each other around the neighborhood. We crammed it all, with us and a lot of big, fat cold-weather clothes into my little Scion Xb. And we drove off to conquer the hill.

After getting over the momentary shock of trudging uphill in heavy boots, I began noticing the faces of my fellow sledders. Smiles. All of them. And the sounds. Lots of laughter. There was nothing but sheer joy on that hill. Even after a nasty crash or two, the sobs quickly turned to laughter. People of all ages, from toddlers to people in their sixties, were having a blast. I even saw adults with no children squealing with delight as they shared a ride down the hill. These people, including me, were all living in the moment. If only for a few hours, we'd turned off the voices telling us that we had to do our taxes, clean the house, look for a job, write a report or get ready for that presentation on Wednesday. We we're simply living.

It was exhilarating!

I thank my Twitter friends @y0mbo and @johnbthomas who turned me on to the sledding hill at Ft. Harrison State Park. It's a good one.