To me, they are two different sports.
Classic is for the woods, preferably on the North Shore. Narrow trails, lined with trees whose branches are heavily laden with snow. Out in the middle of nowhere, with no sounds other than the swish of my skis and the plant of my poles. This is where I can lose myself in my thoughts, as the rhythm of my movements propels me along the trail. I can explore all sorts of topics in my mind and still take in the beauty of nature around me. Classic skiing is good for sharing time outdoors with others. It’s not about the speed or the distance, it’s about enjoying winter, the snow and the scenery. Classic is for the woods.
Skate skiing is a workout! It’s great exercise and there is constantly room for improvement. Better hill climbing, mastering V-2 technique, tucking on the downhills, cornering effectively, powering my poles with my abs. There is so much to get right, and it feels so good in those occasional periods when it all comes together. It’s also my chosen technique for ski races. I’m an endurance person, so it’s the long distance ski races that appeal to me. And skate skiing is my chosen option for completing 35 to 50k in a race. Skate skiing is a workout!
It’s not a bad thing to view them so differently. One sport, two vastly different experiences. I rather like that!