skinny skis

Last night it was finally time to break out the cross country skis! I admit that I was a little nervous. I don’t like to be not good at things – and from prior experience I know I am not a natural on those toothpicks called skis! But after a pep talk from my coworker – “just don’t go down the big hill…” – I decided it was now or never. (That statement is a bit more true than I wish it was. While I know I am leaving soon, I am pretty much in denial about how soon is soon. I expect I’ll be frantically packing the night before my 6am flight. I’m not ready to leave this place…).

I wasn’t graceful. I wasn’t fast or efficient either. But I spent most of the trip on my feet skis. Except for a bruise on my knee – which might actually be from climbing – and sore hip flexors, I came out unscathed. And most importantly, I had fun!

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(Lets just pretend this picture was taken using some fancy iphone app)

I was a bit hesitant starting out. Everyone else around me looked like they knew what they were doing. Just one look at me and you knew I was a rookie – this was before I even started skiing… I had no idea how cold I’d be. It was in the low 20s (it rarely gets that cold in Washington) and I had to walk to and wait for a bus. Donning spandex tights to dress the part didn’t seem like the best idea, hence the snow pants (clue #1 that I was a rookie). And then there was my backpack. Looking back, I probably could have gotten away with shoving all the essentials into pockets, but I wasn’t sure what I would need when I set out. And I only have my large ski touring pack with me here (clue #2 that I was a rookie).

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But enough about the fashion show, back to the skiing. On the flats I was okay, even getting into a good rhythm occasionally. My skis desperately needed wax meaning there was more shuffling than gliding forward but I am telling myself I just got a better workout that way. I could handle the uphills as well. It was the downhills where I fall apart. I waited until all the other skiers were out of sight before tackling them. There were audible “oh shit!”s most of the way down before landing in a heap at the bottom of the hill. Definitely a skill I need to work on!

I had a conversation earlier in the week about running in the snow. The questions was posed, why run when you can ski? At the time I didn’t quite get it. Running is so easy, you just walk out the door. Turns out skiing can be just as easy. And even if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to ski out your door, the bus ain’t so bad either!

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(Waiting for the bus back home.)

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