I have friends that are avid cross country skiers and use that as a means to stay fit in the winter months. (Or perhaps they use cycling as a way to stay fit for XC skiing.) I had toyed with the idea of giving it a go as a way to keep in shape and to do things with my friends during the off season. I never got around to trying it until a coworker was selling a pair of skis and boots in the winter of 2013 that were my size at a very attractive price. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose so I bought them.
I used to downhill ski when I was younger but I didn’t love it and certainly wasn’t good at it. The older I got the more I realized how terrifying it was to go downhill fast without brakes. Also, being deathly afraid of heights was an issue going uphill on the chair lifts. I’d always seem to be stuck on a chair with someone that didn’t want to lower the bar and wanted to swing his/her feet, making the chair feel like it was going to swing back and pour me out several feet below to the earth. No thanks!
Being blessed with so many friends that are good at XC skiing made it easy to get pointers on what to do and what not to do. I still was never “good” at it, but I did get better and better the more I did it.
My skis were the classic, wax less kind. With my bad form I was always the slowest one in the bunch. But my friends were great and very supportive in my desire to keep at it and they would always wait for me to catch up.
The more I skied with my friends, the more I began to like it. I found myself wishing for lots of snow. Who was this person I had become??
One day a number of us took the day off from work on a Monday to hit the trails at a local ski place, Pineland Farms, following a little bit of snow the previous weekend. It was a beautiful day with blue bird skies, glistening new fallen snow, and gorgeously groomed trails that were nearly empty. It was one of the best days off from work! This was a photo of our group on that day.
We have a mutual friend that owns a condo in Jackson, NH, right on a the Jackson XC ski trails. In early February we made a girls weekend out of it by driving 2-hours west to stay at her place for the weekend to do some skiing, hiking, along with some great eating and drinking.
The following year was Jackson 2.0, on the same weekend, but with an expanded group of skiers. It was a spectacular weekend and only reinforced my love for skiing, even though I still sucked, and my admiration for my friends. I had even purchased a new pair of skis, boots, and poles because I wanted to get better at it.
Unfortunately with everything I had to do over the course of the past winter to prepare for our move, I didn’t get a chance to ski nearly as much as I wanted to. And it’s ironic that as soon as I realized I loved XC skiing and gave me an excuse to look forward to the snow, I was moving to an area where I wouldn’t be seeing any snow. I hope to be invited to Jackson 3.0 in Feburary where I can do a little skiing with my friends then.