Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ski 'n cheese

I slid off the road today on the way to the Nordic Ski Club's wine and cheese tour. Four inches of new snow atop freshly glared ice is a dangerous combination for little cars. It took a half hour of shoveling, eight people pushing and a truck with a tow line to get Geo out of the snow bank. Thank goodness for small-town hospitality.

I was pretty frazzled after the ordeal, but I did promise my editor I'd take photos at the ski 'n cheese. So I drove into the blizzard and hit the trail about 45 minutes late, with most of the pack far ahead and probably already polishing off the Swiss. The photo opportunities don't really get good until after the skiers have had their shiraz, so I didn't sweat it too hard. I skied into the blasting snow, trying to separate the trail from the landscape from the sky from anything else. I thought I was doing OK. But the adult nature of the event must have compelled the ski club to set up the expert course, because about 20 minutes into the run I came to an arrow pointing straight down the longest, steepest hill in the area.

I stood there in disbelief for two or three minutes, trying to imagine exactly how I'd get down that thing. Finally I decided I was going to point my skis in the classic "A" and go for it. It goes without saying that they crossed about 20 feet and 15 mph into my descent. Down I went, knee going one direction, body going the other, everything in a cloud of powder and skis and limbs. I literally stabbed myself in the back with one of my poles, wrenched my left knee and came to a sliding stop about halfway down the hill. So there I lay with my legs twisted around the one ski that didn't pop off, cursing the throbbing pain in my knee. I could feel something wet on my back and thought I was bleeding, but it turned out to be snow coming in where I had torn a hole in my coat. And all I could think was what an idiotic way this was to injure myself one week out from my race. So that was it. I took off my other ski and walked back to my beleaguered car.

My knee felt better later this evening, so Geoff and I went out for more skiing. He was going to show me some moves. What he mostly did was show me up; I could barely keep up. But I did find I could gain a lot of speed "skating" on my classic skis, and felt more comfortable moving that way anyway. Still ... I'm a terrible skier. I guess that's the only point this post has. Also, I wish it would stop snowing. T minus five days, ten hours 27 minutes and counting.

7 comments:

  1. The race is this upcoming weekend? Wow. Down to the line. Just remember, if the race doesn't go well, you'll have a great story to tell. If it goes well (like if you win or something) you'll be everyone's new hero.
    If it's any consolation, I'm a terrible skier too. Particularly downhill. I prefer XC skiing by far. Good luck with the last-minute race prep. Remember to taper and carb-load.

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  2. woooOOOoow!!!
    i like your namE!!!
    Jill!! woe
    when i got a child in the future, her name will be JILL!!!

    NO DOUBT ABOUT IT

    hey... take care
    see you!

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  3. glad you were not hurt
    yesterday sledding with my two boys I was hot dogging it on my crusty old wooden toboggan
    started down the hill standing
    dropped to my knees
    kept trying to steer by slamming my arm in the snow
    felt some pain in my shoulder
    and surfed the rest of the hill with my four year old son in front of me
    with me riding on one knee crouched behind him
    we took a number of runs after that
    as I was not hurt
    but
    it was a wakeup call for me to becareful as I am on the mend from a shoulder injury
    I want to have fun
    but at what cost

    as a dad I can get so caught up in the moment

    good luck in your race

    stay warm
    stay dry

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  4. oh
    and stay safe

    as much as I want to take advantage of this rare snow coating the ground with the full moon
    I will not get on the XC Skiis
    with no alpine ski history
    all snowboard
    even a gentle glade on some XC skiis can risk injury for me

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  5. Jill, you don't even want to see me on ski's, kinda like a hippo dancing ballet! I tried snow skiing when I was teen and it cured me! Best way to explain, I laid a nice paralell tracks right into a tree! 1 ski on each side! OUCH!

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  6. Good news on trail conditions as of today. Two local riders report firm surface but warm weather. Let's hope for some cold nights this week.

    You're probably already doing so, but keep an eye on the local forum for updated reports this week.

    Take care of that knee. It's time to rest anyway.

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