Cross-country skiing. I went once when I was in second grade. I mostly remember falling a lot, but having a lot of fun. I haven’t gone since. Partly because I didn’t have skis. Then about 15 years ago my mom found some on a garage sale, but I didn’t have boots. Then about 4 years ago my husband found some boots for me. Then, about 2 weeks ago my friend waxed my skis for me. I really just needed to give this cross-country skiing thing a try. FINALLY the weather and my schedule coordinated to find me out on the ski trails without a soul in sight to witness the horror.
I did the first loop that my friend suggested. I know the trails well from running and knew that the loop started with a nice big downhill. Eek. I have classic skis, so I was trying to stay in the tracks, but out of fear for my life, moved over to the open trail and snow-plowed my way down. After surviving the first big hill, I forgot that a second smaller hill immediately follows…..I was whisked down another hill and ended up on my rear with snow up my back. After that I finished up the loop with some technical difficulty, but I was enjoying every minute. Well, I was enjoying every minute AND I was thinking how wrong all the blessed souls with good circulation are–my feet and hands were FREEZING, even with hand warmers in my mittens. “You’re moving so much, you’ll stay warm.” Whatever. Well, after surviving one loop, I decided to defy my friend’s advice and hit the big loop. As much work as I was putting into coordination, I wasn’t going fast enough to get my heart rate up. Oh, the big loop took care of that for me. (And guess what?! Most of my toes were numb enough for me to forget about and my hands finally DID warm up!)
It was on this loop that I encountered more hills and also the realization that there was another skier out. Drats. Of course I only met him when I was going down hills and he was going up (quite smoothly and briskly, I must add). I biffed both times–I’m sure I was quite a site.
But I survived and I really had a lot of fun! I can’t imagine how fun it must be if you don’t fall all the time! I’m hoping the weather warms back up and I have a few more chances to get back out. I figure if it’s taken me this long to get all the right equipment and just get out, I’m probably not skiing a Vasaloppet or Birkebeiner anytime soon…..It’s baby steps…..just like up the big hills.