March 30, 2014

Valentine's Day - Cross Country Skiing Style

Growing up my family would often go downhill skiing in the winter. My mom was not so fond of downhill skiing, she preferred cross country skiing and would often go with my grandpa. Andy and I had never tried cross country skiing before; naturally it became one of the items on our winter bucket list. I found out that you can go cross country skiing at Aspen Grove for $7.00 (this includes the ski rental) on Friday nights. Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year, we decided to give cross country skiing a try. We thought cross country skiing, we got this. If my grandpa can do it, so can we. *Note to self* Grandpa is buff and he makes hard things look easy.

After work on Friday, we hopped in the car and headed to Aspen Grove. When we arrived paid for our gear, signed our waivers, and put on our snow clothes. We asked the girl working the register what the trail was like and if she had ever been cross country skiing. She said she had never been cross country skiing before but the snow was great, fresh powder. She gave us a map and said the trail was partially lit. We thought to ourselves, “We got this” and we headed out the door to the trail unsuspecting of the adventure that awaited us.

We started off going uphill; I couldn’t seem to get up the hill. Every time I made progress going up the hill, I slide further back than where I had previously started. I ended up turning myself and my skis horizontally and walking up the hill—this was hard work in and of itself. We thought going downhill would be fun and easy, boy were we wrong. Cross country skis are different from downhill skis and it is a lot harder to slowdown and stop. We both fell on our butts several times.

The trail was very dark; at times it was hard to see where we were going. As we rounded a corner, Andy decided to take the lead. The trail slopped downward and Andy yelled up to me that it was icy. I started my decent down the icy slope. I quickly picked up speed and was unable to stop, Andy reached out his arm to try and stop me but he ended up clothes lining me instead. My head and elbow hit the ice really hard and Andy landed on top of me (body slam style). I picked myself up off the ice, cried and continued on down the trail.

Before too long I found myself standing in a puddle of water with wet feet, part of the trail had melted.

We both agreed that 1 loop around the trail was plenty for us. Surprisingly, I would like to try cross country skiing again sometime but would like to have my mom or grandpa there to show us how it’s done.