So obviously not everything is peachy 100% of the time here. Things go wrong. Sometimes I’m a bit out of my element. Typically I follow the mantra of “fake it ‘til you make it” and think of it is a learning experience. But something I just want to get in bed and hide under the covers until it is all better. Case in point: this weekend’s outdoor pursuits.
Try #1: Friday
It seemed like a brilliant idea, I’d get in a hour or two of ski practice on Friday night before my planned weekend adventure in Bymarka. It had been warm all week but I thought how bad could it be? The fact that there wasn’t a single car in the parking lot tipped me off. It wasn’t skiing. It was ice skating. I was back on the bus before my bus ticket from the trip up expired. Fail.
Try #2: Saturday
After Friday’s failure I decided I’d just go for a walk around Bymarka on Saturday. I realized my mistake at the bus stop. Everyone else getting on the bus had skis. It turns out that the snow on the other side of town was much better than the snow ice I had encountered the night before. But still, it was a beautiful day in a beautiful place.
I walked out to one of the huts and then continued on to an area above the treeline that I heard was nice. Unfortunately once I got beyond the well groomed track there was a lot of this:
Post-holing to your knees (and sometimes thighs) almost every step is exhausting! But the rumors were right, it was pretty awesome out there. I was beyond the reach of the skiers and felt very alone, in a good and peaceful way. I’d like to come back in the spring when the snow is gone and the days are longer.
While skiing was a fail, the day itself (minus a bus debacle – another story for another day) wasn’t too shabby. And I decided to come back the next day with my skis.
Try #3: Sunday
I’m bound to figure it out finally, right?
I don’t know what went wrong (actually, I suspect that my skis are too short) but right from the start it was awful. Within in the first 5 minutes I fell (hard) several times, took my skis off to walk down a hill I was too scared to ski down, and cried big tears. I considered quitting right then. I was scared, frustrated and by myself. It wasn’t fun.
I convinced myself to go a bit further, and then a bit beyond that. I became more steady on my skis but I was still really unsure of myself. I managed to make it to the hut from the day before but decided to opt out of the loop I had originally planned. As I made my way back to the start there was something inside me that wouldn’t let me give up. I don’t know what I thought I had to prove to myself. I guess I thought that if I kept on going it would get better. So I turned right instead of left. And go figure, it didn’t get better…
After a detour, a really big hill, a few more tears and a few more falls I made it back to where I started. I covered over 12 kilometers (the furthest I’ve skied) and never got to the point where I was having fun. I have a bruise the size of my hand on my hip (I fell again and again on the same side, at least I was consistent), another bruise on my shin, and my back has been aching ever since. It was not one of my finest moments.
This is by no means the end of my cross country skiing career, but I think I’m in need of a bit of recovery time. Both mental and physical…
I’ll never win an Olympic medal in cross country skiing but I still ought to get a longer pair of skis.
It is actually easier (but scarier) to keep your skis parallel on the downhill than to try and make a wedge.
Sometimes it is okay to quit, especially when you aren’t having fun.
Watching Love Actually with a warm mug of gløgg can make you feel a lot better.