Nfld. & Labrador

'As long as I can walk, I can ski,' says 90-year-old Corner Brook woman

While most people in Corner Brook were hunkered down at home during a snowstorm Monday, Peggy Jacobs celebrated her 90th birthday while gliding on cross-country skis.

Peggy Jacobs skied cross-country in a snowstorm to mark her 90th birthday

Peggy Jacobs turned 90 on Monday, and celebrated by cross-country skiing at Blow Me Down Trails in Corner Brook. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

While many people in Corner Brook were hunkered down at home during a snowstorm Monday, Peggy Jacobs celebrated her 90th birthday by gliding at Blow Me Down Trails, the city's cross-country ski club.

"I ski on my birthday, regardless the weather," she said. 

"So I'll ski for five minutes, just around the block there, and I'll say I skied on my 90th birthday." 

Jacobs and her grandchildren Savannah and Daniel snapped on their skies and looped around the trails on a blustery cold winter's day.

"It is pretty crazy that we have this weather but she is going to try it anyway. It is nice to see," said Daniel Jacobs.

Jacobs's friends and family joined her for a ski on her birthday. From left, Savannah Jacobs, Judy May, Daniel Jacobs and Peggy Jacobs. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

"It just shows the drive and determination, you know. To get out, have fun and stay committed to doing it and being active. It is really inspiring to see."

He grew up skate-skiing at Blow Me Down Trails, watching his grandmother gliding along at her own pace. 

Her birthday was an exception because Jacobs always skies alone. She checks in with the staff at the club and then heads out for her five-kilometre solo loop.

WATCH | Peggy Jacobs celebrates a milestone in a snowstorm: 

Corner Brook skier celebrates 90th birthday where she feels best: on the snow

11 months ago
Duration 2:02
Peggy Jacobs talks with the CBC's Colleen Connors about her passion for cross-country skiing 2:02

"I like to ski alone — I can do what I want in the country. I go in and sit down and relax sometimes and I feed the blue jays," she said.

Cross-country skiing has always been a part of her life, ever since she was a child.

Peggy Jacobs cuts her birthday cake, which features a picture of her on her skis. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

"The first pair of skis I had, my father made me. He made them out of birch. He cut the wood and made them himself," she said.

Jacobs was 13 at the time. Seventy-seven years later, she's still going. It helps that low-impact skiing is easier on her joints than walking is.

"It's hard. [But] I figure as long as I can walk, I can ski. It's easier to ski than it is to walk, to tell you the truth," she said. 

To mark her 90th birthday, staff at Blow Me Down Trails surprised her with a birthday cake with her picture on it. She and her family sat down to enjoy a slice and a drink after their ski. 

"I don't know how I'm supposed to feel," she said, "but I feel wonderful."

Jacobs celebrates after a day on the trails with friends at the Blow Me Down Trails lodge. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

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Colleen Connors reports on western Newfoundland from CBC's bureau in Corner Brook.

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