By now, nearly everyone has had their fill of winter, especially runners and cyclists. You'd think Tara Baroody would agree, having grown up in South Florida. But lately, she's changed her view and actually looks forward to a new coating of the fluffy white stuff.
This former swimmer and triathlete, who works in the outdoor clothing department at the Outdoor Sports Center in Wilton, has discovered the joys of snowshoeing, which she says has rejuvenated her winter workouts.
"It's a better workout than running, but without any of the pounding," she says. "You think you're in good shape, but snowshoeing even a short distance can be cardiovascularly very taxing."
Snowshoeing also demands more than simply putting one foot in front of the other. "You need to work on your agility and balance, and develop a short, efficient stride," says Baroody, who until this year ran through deep snow wearing waterproof hiking boots as her winter alternative to running.
The break from running can be beneficial, she says. "You come back stronger physically and refreshed mentally," Baroody says. "And you can actually enjoy winter, instead of dreading or fighting it by trying to run through it."
Baroody, who tried cross country skiing but found it too technically demanding, admits she is lucky that she can go out the door of her house in Redding and hop onto a network of trails. She also goes to local parks, including Cranbury Park, just up the hill from where she works. "This is a great area for snowshoeing," she says. "There are so many awesome trails."
So while most of us dread the next onslaught of winter weather, Baroody will be looking forward to it. "There's nothing as awesome as snowshoeing through a snowstorm," she says.