Sunday, January 10, 2010
cross country skiing is the gateway drug to downhill
i have been told that all dedicated runners cross country ski during the winter- when they're not out at 6am, clocking 19 miles, in a blizzard, on one leg, backwards- and this became very apparent at the trail head parking area, where a gaggle of subarus were all sporting the 26.2 bumper sticker.
for those sun bunnies, not in the know, cross country skiing is further broken down into "skating" and "classic". the latter being a parallel front-back-front motion that you will see the 'cardio equipment infomercial guy who wears leopard print hot pants', demonstrating (and looking far too perky for someone with an all over groin chafe). by contrast, "skating" looks an awful lot like the stuff of rollerdromes, just with two enormous planks of wood strapped to the feet. fortunately there are poles- with funny bits of plastic on the end- to help with the inevitable balance/forward propulsion and/or provide one more thing to co-ordinate and become entangled with.
the human condition dictates that we find something familiar in the non-familiar so as to make that pesky, awkward newness not feel quite so uncomfortable. for example, dubai now looks an awful lot like vegas (sans celine dion in something encrusted and silky), and boston is london substituting starbucks for pret a manger every 20 metres. therefore, cross country skiing is to winter, as mountain biking is to all that is great and wonderful in the other three, "fun" (dry, warm, snow-free...) seasons. there's pretty trail to look at, and plenty of social stops with fellow xc-ers so as to keep profuse sweating on a purely intermittent basis. perhaps xc skiing could take a few pages out of mountain biking's book; helmets would be a good place to start, and maybe "knobby skis". i am confident that had i had this kind of equipment there would not have been a large right butt cheek impression left at the bottom of the hill, requiring groomers to come out and make the trail safe for others.
all of this means that i must be ready for a snowboard.