Anyone who follows any of the Dance Pak’s members on Twitter knows that us girls generally have a lot to say.
I have noticed that my tweets tend to develop into a novel, so rather than attempt to outsmart the character limit with a constant series of messages taking up space on timelines everywhere, I’ll happily acknowledge the “genius” sign above my head, and just write a blog.
Last year, a girlfriend had brought to my attention an article that she had read in a local newspaper. The writer brought to light the abundance of Canadians who make outward proclamations of loving the image of the fluffy white goodness that so gently falls from the enchanted sparkling heavens but in reality, quickly reverts to images of brown slush and torrential winds that whip hard wet micro bullets of ice right into their faces, forcing them to dream of the short sunny days that Mother Nature graciously bestows upon us in what may seem to be once in a blue moon.
This thinking is not at all false. In fact, anyone who has ever been a victim of public transit during the winter months or was late for an important portion of their day due to freezing engines or snow traffic will most definitely agree with the writer. Those people most likely make up a large majority of the Winter Haters. But this blog entry is not to bash my fellow writer’s opinion, nor is it to dismiss the beliefs or convictions of the snow-jaded naysayers. Today, I am on a mission to advocate for the child in all of us, and reaffirm why winter is, in the absolute simplest of terms, the best.
1. Hockey: This one is just too easy. My budding interest blossomed into true love after my season dancing for the Toronto Marlies hockey team (shout out to Michael, Duke and the game ops!). Getting together with the crew and watching The Game is an unreal experience, but it doesn’t end there. Get on down to your local rink and make your own game. It’s an excuse to meet up with the gang through all the meetings, library and lecture hours, shift huddles and chores and just engage in some healthy competition. Hockey’s not your game? Just lace up a pair of skates and breeze (or in my case, stumble) around in the open. Nathan Phillips Square has it all for me; it’s right in the heart of the city, it has skate rentals and when you’ve had enough, the subway is just two steps away. The city girl in me is also obliged to mention the infinite amount of shopping and eating surrounding the area.
2. Skiing and Snowboarding: It is just impossible to do it without snow. It’s the easiest vacation to plan. Bring an entourage or one of your nearest and dearest. Skiing is one of my favourite sports. The adrenaline rush felt when being lifted up to unimaginable heights only to realize that you have no choice but to brave it out and get back down to the bottom has an unbelievable way of making you feel like a superhero, especially if the CN Tower Skywalk is a bit too ambitious for your idea of adventure. In my experience, snowboarding proved to be quite the challenge, but that’s what waterproof gear is for, right?
3. Yonge-Dundas Square: If you have never had the chance to experience the Holiday light extravaganza at the most hectic pedestrian intersection in our city, you are most definitely missing out on a series of memories to be made. In the rush of the Holiday season, the square is engrossed with flashy ads (adds), which have different denotations (and connotations) to those who acknowledge them or make diligent efforts to ignore them. Whether you’re coming up from the underground, leaving a store, or simply walking across the street, the bright but gentle glow of the blue and silver decorations, which seem to have magically appeared overnight, are the easiest and most profound way to make you feel the magic of the moment. The lights are illuminated only in the winter months, so accept it and love it. Stop, if you can, or look in passing. Appreciate where you are, what you have and how fortunate you are to be here, or there. That’s an order.
4. The Holiday Season: In my opinion, the best holiday season to ever be in existence. With family, much-needed alone time, giving, receiving, work, play, rest, holiday, food, drinks of any kind or capacity, love of any demonstration or measure, ‘tis the season for it all.
5. Staying Warm: It may seem ironic that I’m advocating for the opposite side, but what would be the joy in a cup of tea or coffee or hot apple cider or grande, non-fat, no-whip caramel brulee latte if the sub-zero temperatures didn’t allow us the opportunity to appreciate them? Other ways of staying toasty include: calls to old friends far away to warm the heart; cuddling however and with whomever you see fit; going back home for Holiday dinner (Big Ups to the fam, for keeping me full); pressing snooze, just once, for that extra five minutes under the covers, before bee lining to the shower. Feel free to reminisce and insert any personal traditions to add to the list.
6. Looking Cute: The fashionista in me revels in this particular position of winning the pro-winter war. Winter is in a close second-place to the best fashion season, with autumn just sitting in first. There are so many options for outerwear, boots, sweaters, shirts, skirts, pants (even shorts) and accessories that are a means to express your individuality. And even when layered beyond recognition, you still look cute. In addition, moisturizer is the number one cosmetic necessity aiding in the prevention of wrinkles and the preservation of a youthful appearance, which will in turn save you thousands on anti-aging creams and cosmetic procedures in the future. To me, it’s the most festive way to plan ahead for your fabulous-looking future. For present times: who doesn’t love rosy cheeks and a red nose? It’s an enchanting look and saves the step of blush application, leaving more time in the day to be cute.
7. Basketball: Of course, the number one way to stay toasty warm this winter is to hibernate inside Air Canada Centre all season and watch my favourite game. In my opinion, this is the most exciting way to spend the winter. Go solo, bring someone close to you, head over with a small or large group, it’s completely up to you! Just hop on the TTC and head down to Union Station (no snow traffic!). Experiencing the lights, the crowd, the competition and of course the Dance Pak is worth all the bundling up. Trust me, it’s like no other game.
There are of course, thousands more and although they may not erase the harsh realities of northern winter, my aim was to bring to light the many reasons why we should appreciate what we can’t escape. And if nothing can satisfy the true distaste for the most magical of seasons, move. Not because you can’t handle it but because like Canadian weather, it’s up and down. If the sun keeps you on the up, stay there!
But you’ll be back…