One of the distinct joys of cross country skiing, found perhaps when cruising along the crisp classic track cut through a fresh snowfall, is the feeling of total freedom. When you hit your stride right, your body slides into that natural rhythm where you can glide across the ground as effortlessly, as freely as walking on air. There, with only snow and snowcapped hills on the horizon, I always feel singularly free to fly off in any direction, soundlessly skiing anywhere and everywhere, to my heart’s content.

But how to find this sense of freedom when the snow is gone? Luckily, a while back, Finnish cross country skiers in search of some off-season skill-building came up with a simple solution: Nordic walking.

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