New to me

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Let me begin with this. I LOVE ADVENTURE. I LOVE IT. While it is something I state often, I rarely partake in the new and unknown. Partially because one of the many joys of aging is the pleasure of becoming more acquianted with the voice of fear, “hello there jerk!” And also because it is easy to continue doing things you’ve already learned with the equipment you already own than try the new. But, alas, every once in a full moon I find myself giddy with joy as a new adventure opens itself to me. Enter nordic skiing at night.

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The idea presented itself to me from the mind of my good friend and her mountain man husband. Thanks to my parentals I was lucky enough to already own two pairs of cross country skis from my junior high days in Minnesota. Sadly I did not realize that my skis were 15 years old and significantly different than the skis worn by individuals when taking to the back country in Tahoe. Did you know there are many different types of nordic skis?!!
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The guy and I headed to our friends’ abode after work with skis (my junior high winners and the guy’s rentals), back packs, snow gear, headlamps and drinks (a must) in tow. We excitedly made our way out to their backyard to get our gear on before taking off. Many minutes later, our gear was all in place and up, up, up we went to the trail.

Pause:Everyones’ gear but mine = skis about 5 inches wide with scales on the bottom. Scales,my friends, prevent you from sliding backwards the entire time you are attempting to go UP.

My gear = skis about 2 inches wide with a nice shiny layer of wax and no scales. The result… for every 1 foot I managed to heave myself forward I slid back about 2 feet. I now invite you to envision a beautiful woman elegantly making her way up the mountain at night. NOT me. I was the one 50 feet behind the beautiful people panting obnoxiously and sweating profusely. This continued for two miles with a relatively impressive, or impressive to me, elevation gain.

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Play: We made our way up the mountain to a vista that looked out over Lake Tahoe with the moon shining down on us. This was the point in the workout when it was all worth it. With beers in hand and skis safely off we sat, drank, watched the lake and the sky and talked and talked and talked. As I regained my breath I realized just how much fun I was having and how grateful I was to live where I do. This was AMAZING. As the night wore on we decided to make our way down, which, as it turns out, is just as difficult as the way up.

New scene: 4 individuals of varying skill levels, 1 a seasoned skier and nordic skiing coach, the others… not. The downhill grade was quite steep, and while we are all capable of downhill skiing, stopping in nordic skis is quite a bit more difficult. The ladies started the two mile decent first. 10 feet and WHAM! both down.

My guy then made a cocky remark, was on his way and disappeared around the bend at full speed. While mountain man stayed back to get his wife on her feet I made my way down to Brent (my guy’s name)… there he lay about 100 yards down and two feet off the track crawling about for his headlamp. Oh yes…he fell. He fell hard!

The way down continued as it began.. lots of screaming, lots of laughing and LOTS of falling.

As we made our way back toward the house the terrain flattened out and I excitedly approached my last obstacle.. a large snow covered bolder. I centered my body on its direction and bent down into high speed position in order to fly over it!

Fly over it I did not. Rather I got about three feet up, stopped as my momentum wained and spread my legs around it so as not to fall backwards.

New image: a short overweight troll in lumpy snow gear straddling a rock and proceeding to hump its way up and over the top followed by a faceward tumble to the snow below. FAIL.

The laughs continued as we made our way home for pizza and drinks.

Remember. You’re never too old to try something new. Also, the sweat and bruises are worth the laughter.

Up next: The Great Ski Race! 

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