author: elisabeth sahlmueller | staff writer
how to enjoy the great outdoors
What you can look forward to as the weather gets better
I am someone who has always loved being outside and although I do get out during the winter to go walking and skating, this gets tough and limited when the weather is so flippin’ cold. Thankfully, the intense cold spell is gone (and hopefully won’t come back until next winter) and people are coming out from their place of hibernation. Now that all the snow has melted and we are finally starting to once again experience and remember what warm weather felt like, I can’t help but get excited for summer. To be honest, while I am looking forward to a nice break from school and the intense workload (no offense to my current profs – you’re great, but all those readings, come on!), I am even more excited to actually get outside in the heat and sunshine and do some of my favourite sport activities, many of which I haven’t done since last summer, since they are much more enjoyable to do outdoors.
While running is an intense and challenging activity, both mentally and physically, for some reason it is something I have always enjoyed doing ever since I was little. I love the exhilaration, the challenge, the sense of accomplishment and honestly find it a great way to destress. In my opinion, it’s much more enjoyable to run outside, rather than inside on the treadmill or around the track at the gym. While I do like that running on the treadmill pushes me to keep up my pace, even with music, it soon gets boring.
Similarly, running around the track also quickly gets repetitive. However, running outside allows you to see more and experience the natural elements. For me, the best time in the summer for a run is early in the morning, between eight and ten, after a good breakfast. By then it is already light enough and has warmed up a bit, but not too much.
Running outside is great because it is not only good exercise, but it also allows you to get some fresh air, while constantly pushing yourself to new limits.
One of my favourite things to do outside in my backyard during the summer is play badminton, especially since the guy I usually play with and myself are evenly matched and can keep a rally going between us for some time. Normally, I prefer to rally rather than play a game because the boundaries of the court can get quite contested and sometimes it feels like the birdie is on the ground more often than it is in the air.
On the other hand, in a rally there is continuous action, as neither player wants to let the birdie hit the ground. A strong wind is the only aspect that makes it difficult to have a game or rally, as no matter which way you turn or hit the birdie, it never stays in the air or goes where you want to hit it. However, if it is a nice day and not too windy, you can bet I am going to try and find some time to get out and play some badminton.
One of my favourite things about this city is its extensive bike trial system. Although there could be some improvements, like better connections between certain pathways, for the most part once you get on the trails you can go quite far, in a short amount of time, especially when biking. Living a kilometre away from the trails is awesome because not only are these trails located in a nice scenic area, but they are ones I frequently use for biking, walking and running.
At the same time, I do like to bike on the trails that expand further north and south, especially to and around Wascana Park, despite the crowds, abundance of bird droppings and occasional sprinkler over the path. Sure, you can bike anytime of the year inside on a stationary bike, but when the weather is warm, I would much rather be biking outside and actually going somewhere.
The best summer group activity hands down is definitely Ultimate Frisbee, or just simply Frisbee, because not only is it super fun to play, but it can also be played by people of any age, doesn’t require much instruction or equipment and the intensity level can easily be modified and adjusted based on who is playing. I love playing Frisbee at the park or along the beach – unless I am the one who must wade into the frigid water early in the morning to retrieve the Frisbee. Also, the nice thing about Frisbee is that it can played anywhere there is a large enough open space and because there are so many parks within the city, it is not difficult to find the space. However, I would highly recommend not playing Frisbee in your backyard, unless you want to spend the majority of time in your neighbour’s backyard trying to locate your Frisbee or listen to your parents yell at you for hitting the window.
I only started playing this sport last summer, but it quickly became one of my favourites and I am looking forward to getting out and playing it again this summer.
Not only is tennis fun and intense, especially when, like badminton, you and your opponent decide to rally because then you are constantly on the go. The best thing about this sport is that it can be played in any weather condition which makes it the most fitting for the Saskatchewan summer climate. If there is a cement or rubber ground at the court you are playing at, and it is raining you don’t have to worry about trudging a muddy field as you would for most other sports. Additionally, the wind does not interfere with the game, since the tennis ball is quite heavy.
So, there you have it. The reasons why I the sports I love are from the summer. Whether it’s the warmth of the sun or a breeze from the wind, there is nothing like the summer months and the summer sports.