Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Learning to ski

So I took the new cross country skis out for a little slide today. It was my second time ever - the first being at least four years ago. It was an experience that left both my ego and knees so bruised that I put the memory out of my mind to the point of repression. But I remembered today as I snapped into my brand new bindings and started to slide forward ... wait ... I’ve been here before. It was the kind of thing that comes flooding back in a moment of silent dread ... the borrowed boots that were too small, the pair of battered skis waxed too much and a small misstep that sent me careening into a creek.

But it’s funny how much you can learn about something in the space of four years, even when you haven’t revisited it even once. Since that humbling first experience, I learned to downhill ski, took up bicycling for the first time since I was a child, learned to ride with 60 pounds of weight dangling from the frame, began riding in mud and gravel and even snow. My balance has improved; I’m a little stronger and a little less afraid of eating snow (tastes much better than sand, you know). So when I started sliding beyond control today, I just pulled the other foot forward, and kept going for three miles.

Sure, it wasn’t all sunshine and giggles ... I was dusted by a few skate skiers on the groomer, lost the trail and had to tramp through an open field of thorny bushes, and walking uphill was no picnic - I must of looked like a crippled duck as I thrashed up some of the steeper ones. But it was cool. I don’t regret purchasing the skis. And I got to see this ... the sun dropping over Kachemak Bay. So, all in all, a good hobby, I think.


  1. I am looking to learn to XC Ski
    DC lacks enough snow for too many adventures
    and well
    this recent injury will keep me off the XC skiies this season

    it this activitiy is in my future
    a great way to get out and see the world around us
    a great way to get the heart rate up

  2. fantastico.

    almost made me not want to spit when the images of snow fall, unbidden, over memory.


    nope, it's 68 degrees today outside the office.
    me = softy
    i'm stayin.

  3. Nice shot! Alaska is beautiful, but man, I need some warmth for at least a quarter of the year, since I'm a crappy skier.

    Now snowshoeing I can do...

  4. Beautiful shot!

    You'll love XC skiing (agreed, downhill helps XC, but also XC will make you a better downhiller) -- there are some similarities to cycling in that both can get you away from the crowds. And, if you ever transition to skate skiing, you'll feel that same freedom.

    - TOB

  5. Now ... did you wear jeans like your first time? I think I've seen you so miserable only a few times ... Good to hear that experience did not discourage you for life. Now we can share x-country skiing stories!


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