I cross-country skied two or three times last year. On extremely flat trails. With beginner cross-country skiers. Clearly, this makes me an expert.
Which is why it seemed like a great idea when my super-duper awesome friend Carolyn suggested we sign up for a cross-country skiing race at the Iowa Winter Games. She’s never led me astray.
I don’t own skis, so I rented some from a cute little bike shop in Dubuque. The guy working in the shop said the rental skis were “better for racing than most of their rentals.” Clearly, these “racing skis” were going to allow me to overcome my extreme lack of experience.
Carolyn and I got to the cross-country skiing course and discovered the competition was mostly 40-60-year-old men (who just happen to be expert skiers). We disclosed our lack of cross-country skiing experience and asked how long the 8K course might take us if we were extremely slow.
The answer: about 40-50 minutes.
We completed the course in approximately 140 minutes. And we were lapped. By everyone (with the exception of one older lady who was limping before she strapped on her skies — and she was ahead of us until she injured herself during the second lap).
Cross-country skiing on hilly terrain is hard work. Not only do you have to get yourself up the hill — you also have to get yourself down the hill. My preferred method of getting down hills was falling. It worked. I was especially thankful for the guard rails on both sides of a small bridge along the course. Had the guard rails not been there, I might be writing this from a deep ravine. And I’d be cold.
Despite our painfully slow times, Carolyn and I enjoyed our competitive skiing experience. The other competitors were super nice and gave us lots of helpful (pity?) tips. I think I know what my feet are supposed to be doing (not that this means I can do it), but the ski poles are still kind of puzzling. I’m still not sure when each pole should strike the ground and propel me forward. I’ll work on that skill.
The best news of the day was the fact that, because we were the only women in the 20-30 age group, Carolyn and I got gold and silver medals for our efforts. We rock.
Notice how that silver medal shines. I’m pretty sure it’s real silver.
My silver-medal finish has inspired me to actually learn how to cross-country ski. Our new Iowa Game cross-country skiing peeps will be so pleased if we return next year with real skills.
We’re supposed to get approximately 72 inches of snow over the next couple days. The elementary school kid who lives deep inside me is super excited about the possibility of a SNOW DAY! (coffee, pajamas, movies…what could be better?) The grown up who also lives deep inside me is aware of the fact that “snow days” mean waking up even earlier than usual to shovel the driveway. Ooof.
My mom called tonight to tell me she’s bothered by the green smoothie picture posted yesterday. She’s concerned others may have looked at that picture before eating breakfast (or, heaven forbid, while eating breakfast) and may have lost their appetites.
My response = The Spinach Challenge isn’t called The Spinach Challenge for nothin’. Only the most dedicated veggie eaters can conquer The Spinach Challenge. Some moms might be proud of their kids for eating veggies. Ho-hum.