As a child I practically lived on cross country skis if there was snow on the ground. I had an elaborate course around my home that even included jumps. It’s been about 15 years since those days. So, the other day I decided to dig out those old skis I’ve had since I was 11 (so… about 18 years old!). I could barely squeeze into the boots, so I had Matt pick up some cheapy boots at REI. They fit perfectly, both on me and the bindings, so I figured here goes nothing!
Happy Jack, east of Laramie, has groomed/ungroomed cross country ski trails on the very same trails I mountain bike on. So I headed up there Tuesday morning to give things a try again. OK, whoa… 15 years off does make me very ungraceful and kind of bobbly! But soon I was gliding down the trails, relearning my rhythm. I quickly learned I was wearing 3 too many layers, and wished I didn’t forget my sunglasses at home.
Groomed trails make me feel clumsy. I just don’t think my skis are made for groomed trails. They’re not skate skis, and otherwise I just felt slow on them. After looping around some of my go-to mountain bike trails (Ridge, Rollercoaster, and Lower UW… all of which are funner on a bike…), I headed down Middle Aspen, which is ungroomed. Oh man, I just flew! My skis like that ungroomed stuff! I actually was getting scared with how fast I would get going downhill, and I would just fall to slow down. Funny, considering I’ll go twice that speed down it on a bike, then again, bikes have brakes. I looped back up Pole Creek, thirsty and reminded of how hard cross country skiing is.
I ended up doing just shy of 5 miles, and spent about 1.5 hours on the trail. Not too shabby! I was tired and thirsty when I got back to my car, and drenched with sweat from wearing far too many layers. I’ve noticed some soreness in my thighs that I haven’t had before, so I’ve concluded I had a pretty darn good work out, and it got me outdoors and in the snow, instead of in the basement on the trainer. I’m not quite sure how often I’ll make it out skiing, but at least I know I have the equipment for when I want to do so! I must admit, I’m quite proud of myself for recycling my old skis and putting them back into use instead of just rushing off to buy new ones. Sure, they’re not the newest technology, but they still work great!