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Determined to ski

Posted Jan 11 2010 12:00am

Skate skis in early morning light

After my first awkward attempt to learn to skate ski, I have determined that I AM going to learn how to do this, and I have made peace, of sorts, with myself. Well, let's just call it an uneasy truce.

While whining to my husband about how frustrating it was to hack my way through skate skiing (I'm not really an athlete! I was in band and choir, for God's sake!), I remembered what another mom had told me about teaching her kids how to swim. Yes, she enrolled them in lessons, but she felt that her kids made great gains not because of the instruction, per se, but because they were in the pool every day for two weeks.

I resolved to quit whining and start putting in the time on the skis. I asked a woman who loaned me her skate ski equipment if I could keep it for the week, and she said yes. (Thanks, Marcie!!!) I whined to folks who were good skate skiiers, almost begging them to tell me how easy it was and confirm that I sucked, but they told me their own stories of being completely clumsy in the beginner stage. (Oh--I'm like them? Huh.)

Why am I even bothering to learn how to skate ski when I love biking? I've asked myself this question several times during the past few days. It's about getting a good workout in when I also have three children who still need to be supervised.

Skate skiing is like running when it comes to calorie burn, but there isn't that little problem of pounding, pounding as you burn the calories. In other words, I can get in a great workout in a half hour, and that keeps me happy without having to go a long distance or block off a huge amount of time away from the family. Plus, I can get out of the house early to get it done without having to worry about my personal safety, which is just what I did on Monday morning.

Before I could think about how sore I was or come up with an excuse (Hmmm . . . lemme check my email quick a minute.), I got my butt out of bed while everyone else was still in theirs and drove to a spot where the local cross-country ski team practices. As the sun was just coming up, there I was, scooting along in my gimpy way, just hoping something would click, and it wouldn't be my knee.

There was no epiphany, no magical moment where everything came together, but I'm going to keep putting in the time. If you want the magic, you've at least gotta show up.

Happy Birthday, Elle! It's been so much fun working out with you this past year!
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