Some XC skiing

We had some beautiful snow the last few days, and I wanted to take advantage of it and get on skis again. I skied one time last year in a short lesson, and so I wasn’t sure if I would remember anything this year. Everything went swimmingly while I was in the chalet and picking up my skis. The real fun started when I tried to remember how to actually strap the suckers on.

I stood out next to the rack for a good 5 minutes trying to get my boot to attach correctly. I’m sure I looked like an idiot, but eventually I got it figured out. I started out along the main trail and headed over to the practice area to try things out again. I went back and forth a few times and realized this was going to be a really hilarious evening. I couldn’t quite get the gliding right, but I managed not to fall.

After practicing for a few minutes I decided to head out on one of the trails. I started moving slowly, but consistently, as most people passed right by me. I didn’t mind though since I was still moving forward. I got to a fork and decided to go left. I ended up going down a big hill, and as I approached the bottom the first fall of the evening happened. Thankfully snow is soft and I managed to get myself upright again.

As I continued down the fork I came to a large uphill. I recalled what I had been taught and tried a couple different techniques to get up the hill. However, no matter what I did I just couldn’t get more than a few feet up the hill before I slipped back down. Thankfully, I was all alone and no one had to witness my epic failure. I headed back and took the other fork and continued on my way.

At this point I was doing pretty good, and the trail was nice and flat. Earlier in the journey I was told by an oncoming skier that some of the lights up ahead weren’t working. As I approached this area I realized I forgot my headlamp, so I had to make a choice to keep going, and hope the track kept me going the right way, or turn around. I was really enjoying myself, so I decided to plow onward into the darkness, leaving light behind.

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It was a beautiful, bright, moon so I could see the track faintly. I cruised along in the dark, breathing in the cool night air, with the sound of owls in the distance. I came across another hill and this time I told myself nothing would stop me from getting to the top. I dug into a herringbone prance, and committed to getting to the top. The next thing I knew I was cresting the rise and the rest of the trail was ahead of me. It was at this moment I decided I needed to take a couple pictures. In particular I LOVE the one that I attached to the top of this blog. For an iPhone camera it came out beautifully.

I continued on and the lights eventually came back into view. As I approached the 45 minute mark I could tell my body was getting tired. My form was sucking and I even fell once on flat ground for no reason. I made it back to the chalet in exactly one hour from when I started, tired and sweaty, but feeling incredibly fulfilled.

I had to pass on a different social activity to get this done, and despite missing that, I was happy I made the choice I did. The night was so beautiful and quite, and the challenge was daunting. However, I found myself loving it and wishing I had more time to improve my skills. After an hour I had gone 2.8 miles, which is slower than I could have walked that distance. I didn’t really care though, as I had challenged myself with something new, and didn’t give up, even when it was hard.

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