Monday, February 02, 2009

What is THIS all about?

Ok, I like winter. Yeah, I'm odd. And I like winter sports. Particularly if I'm participating in them, and preferably when the temperatures are NOT -20! So, I ice skate. I snow shoe. I had done some downhill skiing in my youth, but decided that I really didn't need to get anywhere quite that fast. Instead, I cross-country ski, which is billed as an "all-over" workout. "All over" was about how I felt this past weekend. My hubby and I went to the path we've been using to snow shoe this past Saturday. Mind you, he's been doing this since at least college, maybe younger. We get on the skis. I immediately have trouble staying upright. Even with poles. I'm a person who can hold "tree" pose for 5 minutes without a wobble. Balance should not be an issue. We get going. I feel like I'm "shoving" the skis instead of gliding, and then we hit a nice slight downhill level so I can "schush" along nicely, using the poles to propel me along, and getting in a nice bit of upper body exercise. Then comes the first hill. I get half-way up, and I slide down. I get half-way up and slide down again. I'm stubborn. Hubby made it up there, so why can't I?? Finally, I conceded defeat and did the sideways shuffle up the hill. Went along a while further and then we hit a BIG (well, big in x-country terms) downhill. Hubby went down, and did fine. I went down and managed to over-correct slightly. Hubby says, "Aim for the trees." Is he crazy? Besides, he's got more life insurance than I do... Instead, I do what any self-respecting person would do. I sat down. It's amazing that the human butt is a great anchor. I popped the bindings, kicked the skis out from under me and walked down the remainder of the hill. So Sunday, he decides "we need to work on technique" so we head for the same area, only a soccer field that looks nice and flat. Ha. Deception abounds, my friends! It's a gentle maybe 1-degree downward slope toward the road. I did fine. I did the turn just peachy. Then I started back. Oh. My. Dig the poles deep, behind your rump into the snow. Puuuuuuuuuuullllllll with all your might on said poles to get the skis (and your body) forward. Take one pole out, gingerly and quickly - trying not to cross your skis or lose your balance. Poke it slightly ahead of yourself. Do the same with the other pole. Then, through sheer force of will, puuuuuuuuuuuuullll those legs and skis forward. Only to slide backward 6 or 8 feet. More than once. More than 4 times. Embarassingly more than I feel like it should have been. Particularly since Hubby scooted right up that hill as if it was flatter than an Illinois corn field. It took me nearly 20 minutes to "ascend the hill" - and yes, you may surely read a whole heap of sarcasm at the "hill" point. I got to the crest, popped the skis off and said, "I'm not sure why I like this anymore." So riddle me this... I can skate for a couple of hours on a thin blade. I can stop; turn; go forward AND backward. And stay upright. Even spin modestly. I can do yoga - I love balance poses. But on a 2" wide 5 1/2' piece of wood? I'm a total clod. Will I be getting back on the skis? Yep. As soon as we have more snow. I'm not going to let a skinny piece of fiberglass defeat me.

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