At the moment, Huntsville, Ontario is snowless and it has ended up benefitting us.
In September, Kate had noticed a posting on a Canmore facebook group that was looking for someone to billet two athletes who wanted to get an early start to their cross country skiing training. As we live just down the road from the Nordic Centre (where athletes from all over Canada come to kick and glide over 110 kilometres of well-groomed trails) and no prospect of visitors to occupy our two guest bedrooms, we offered to take in these unknown teenagers.
Several e-mails, phone calls and text messages later, we were primed to expect a 15- and 17-year-old from an area we had just visited in September.
|Sophie and Mya at the Nordic Centre|
Having Mya and Sophie has been delightful. Enthusiastic, helpful and good company, Kate and I are very much enjoying their company. They both train very hard - working out 3 - 4 hours a day. Although they have prescribed workouts from their coach in Ontario, they are self-motivated and manage their schoolwork, music practice (Mya plays the flute) and dryland and ski training with no nagging or reminding required on our part. They proven they can both eat like true athletes, contrary to their visible lack of body fat. Kate, acting as a surrogate-Italian mama, plies them with overflowing bowls of dinner which they happily plow through.
They always seemed to have something to do and Kate and I appreciated having them around to occupy our COVID-restricted time and attention. Even though the Nordic Centre is very close (as the crow flies), we offered to drive them when they needed to get there as it was pretty much uphill the whole way. When the girls weren't training, they were always keen to tag along on our adventures. We managed to get to Lake Louise for two days of recreational cross-country skiing. We did a hike up Sulphur Mountain and happily rode the gondola down - no charge for us locals and our "kids." We did a few pizza nights, sing-a-long nights and although we didn't socialize with anyone outside the house, we had lots of fun as a group.
|Top of Sulphur Mountain - great weather!|
Being good billetters, we are helping them with homework when we can. One of Sophie's homework assignments was to identify and gauge the mood of music played in the soundtrack of Lord of the Rings. As Fellowship of the Rings was available on Netflix, we decided to make it a movie night. As the credits started to roll, Kate quipped, "... and that's it?!?" She didn't realize that the movie we had just watched was one of THREE. Luckily, we had two more nights before they had to head home and dedicated ourselves to getting through all eleven hours of cinema before they had to go back to Ontario.
We now have a reason to keep up with the Ontario Cross-Country Age Group standings.
GO SOPHIE! GO MYA! GO TEAM MARSHALL!
We were happy to have you stay with us and you are welcome back any time. Just give us some warning so we can have enough groceries in the fridge.