Tuesday, November 15, 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.