Each winter you can explore the trails by cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Our educators and dedicated volunteers have taught many people how to navigate the snow using skis. If you ever attended one of our cross country ski clinics, you likely met Doug Pollock, a long-time volunteer and skiing enthusiast.
Doug is a big fan of outdoor sports like windsurfing, skateboarding, mountain biking, and skiing. Growing up in Somerset, PA, skiing was a part of life. “In high school, we all skied. Every car in the school parking lot had a ski rack on it. After school, we’d all head out to the resort to ski,” said Pollock. Doug eventually became an alpine (downhill) ski instructor for the local ski resorts.
An injury steered him to cross country skiing. “I started cross country skiing as a result of a knee injury while alpine skiing. Cross country skiing allowed me to still enjoy the winter outdoors without the possible dangers of alpine skiing. I soon realized how much FUN it was to effortlessly glide through the woods on these skinny skis. I’ve always loved teaching, so I just switched from alpine to cross country!” said Pollock.
Doug and his family moved to Fairview about 11 years ago. He stumbled upon Asbury Woods, which is not too far from their home. As an avid outdoor adventurer, he was thrilled to have miles of trails to ride his mountain bike, to hike around, and to cross country ski. Doug reached out to Asbury Woods to see if they needed an instructor for cross country ski clinics and the rest is history! He’s been teaching people how to ski at Asbury Woods since 2009.
His love of outdoor adventures serves many purposes. Not only does it give him time to disconnect from the day-to-day, but it helps him exercise. “Staying active is VERY important to me. Whether it’s taking a casual walk, playing a round of disc golf, riding my longboard on the trails of Presque Isle, or cross country skiing. As we get older, it’s imperative to stay active and healthy,” noted Pollock.
The holidays can be a very busy and stressful time of year. This holiday season, in particular, has additional challenges, but Doug makes the effort to get outside anyway. “Not only is it great for our bodies, the serenity of the outdoors is great for our minds. This is very important as we go through this COVID pandemic. We need to unwind and relax our minds. Nature can do this,” said Pollock.
Living in Northwest Pennsylvania, cold weather and snow is just a part of the package. While some wait for spring inside the comfort of their home, Doug is outside playing in the snow. “What better way is there to enjoy [winter] rather than just sitting around and waiting for spring to arrive? Gotta get outside and enjoy this white stuff!” said Pollock.
Doug finds great satisfaction in teaching people of all ages how to cross country ski at Asbury Woods. “It’s a great feeling that I get to see people who’ve never been on skis before gliding across the trails with effortless kick and glide. My goal is to have everyone enjoy cross country skiing and Asbury Woods as much as I do,” said Pollock.
We’re so thankful for Doug and his enthusiasm for the outdoors and passion for teaching others how to cross country ski. You can learn more about our upcoming cross country clinics or equipment rentals by clicking here. Be prepared for a fun clinic with Doug, where you will learn how to navigate trails with the skis and a few other tricks, too.