“I have a great idea! Let’s go buy spaghetti-sized skis and then try to balance on them as we walk/slide/ski across the beautiful Swedish countryside.” Who’s brilliant idea was this? Oh yeah, mine. Well, sometimes the soul has you do things that your mind and body have not yet accepted. This was one of those things. XC-skiing. Cross-country skiing for those of you not familiar with the acronym. (I wasn’t either in the beginning). I have know about cross-country skiing for quite a while. I remember a friend of mine from Berkeley, California telling me about a trip she went on once and how much she loved it. It seemed like such a romantic thing to do. You merely put on your skis and then you simple glide across miles and miles of beautiful snow, into the sunset. Right.
Cross-country skiing is exactly like that. If you have a very wild imagination, and you squint really hard if you are watching someone like me. My first words when I finally got the skis on and stood up was, “Whoooaaa!” But that barely described the sheer terror that enveloped me in that moment. My next words were something like, “Um… who’s idea was this?!” But I think those last ones were said only in the confines of my own little pea brain. It was hard work getting around that two kilometer track, complete with enough hills to terrify you into submission. My husband did much better than me, aside from falling once and bruising his tailbone because he had the unfortunate luck to land on one of his skis. My bruises were evenly distributed.
So how did we manage to make it around this unfortunately, poorly groomed track, as our friend informed us? With the expert advice and guidance of a pro. Yes, we were primed and taught the basics by our sweet and patient friend who used to compete in cross-country skiing back in Minnesota. How lucky for us to be taught by such a seasoned skier. She even looked the part in her sleek ski-pants and thin upper layers, while I looked like a black marshmallow, in my traditional, insulated ski-pants, rolled up at the ends because they were too long. Yes, living in the land of tall Vikings, most pants are too long for this short, Texas gal.
However, even after that slightly terrifying first time, we went out alone yesterday for our second attempt and I must say it went much better. I did fall down a fews times but I am pretty sure I felt, for at least a few seconds, what it must feel like to glide across the snow. I also got to know what it feels like to wipe out at the bottom of the hills a couple of times but we did manage to go around the two kilometer track twice this time before calling it quits. Now we are seasoned pros and I am sure that the next time we venture out, we will indeed glide effortlessly across the miles and miles of beautiful snow, into the sunset. Or at least into the forest, where we will hopefully not get lost.
Heading out… in Stockholm you can just hop on a subway train with your skis and get to a ski track in thirty minutes.
You get warm quickly… I had to peel off my jacket and hat. It’s a great workout!