If you live in Minnesota, you've got to embrace winter. It's not going to go away. One of the best ways is to take up a winter sport—preferably one that keeps you in shape, requires minimal equipment, and is inherently social. Cross-country skiing is the perfect answer to the quandary of what to do with winter: After the initial investment in a pair of skis, boots, and poles, the possibilities are endless. Each year Gear West offers a Wednesday night class covering everything from the basics to more advanced techniques. Shop owner Jan Guenther teaches the classes herself, and she recruits a bevy of coaches to work with small groups of students. Most people choose to learn to skate ski, but coaches are always available for classic. Once you've got the foundation, you have a myriad of places to practice with your skiing friends. You'll like it so much you'll actually be sad to see the snow melt.