Canadian Holiday: Cross Country Ski Date


On last year’s Christmas visit,(My Big, Fat Canadian Holiday) my man-friend took me skate-skiing. Since skate skiing felt completely ridiculous I suggested we go classic cross-country skiing this trip. He obliged and off we went! I’ll admit, the first 10 minutes I wanted to punch something. It’s not too hard, but the first 100 meters (metric system!) were all uphill. Surprisingly, I could not get into a rhythm. Perhaps it was because I was using all the god-given strength I could muster in my upper body to dig my ski poles into the hill, in order to prevent my ass from sliding back down to where we started. You know how, as an adult, it’s incredibly frustrating to not pick up a new skill immediately? Well, I had that going on. I wasn’t going to be a douche bag about it though, so I just kept truckin’ along. My man-friend gave me a movement cue of trying to put my weight on my feet, just like I was jogging, to get me uphill and that seemed to work wonders. After another 10 minutes, things picked up for the better and off we went, actually skiing!


I was pissed at myself for not bringing my heart rate monitor with me (#shittrainerssay) – I’d left it in my backpack back at the house. I remember that my exercise physiology professor in college told us that the hardest form of cardio you can possibly do is cross-country skiing. I didn’t believe him, but I’d also never tried it. Turns out, Dr. Rutherford wasn’t full of shit. (Fun fact: on the list of highest known VO2 Max rates – the rate at which you use ozygen while exercising – cross country skiers make up about half of the world record holders!). If any of the activity I’ve done in these mountains at this elevation is an indicator, I’ll be in zone 5 the majority of the time. #altitudeisnojoke


So going uphill sucks. Especially at the beginning when you’re barely making strides on level ground. So I ate it. Several times. I tend to make a lot of sounds effects when ish goes wrong (gah! ack! FUCK!) and on this particular fall, when my skis kept slipping out from under me and I couldn’t get up, my man-friend got to laughing and couldn’t stop. So… while I was on the ground struggling, he’s laughing his ace off. He was laughing for so long I had time to sit down, remove my gloves, grab my phone, and shoot a few photos of him… from the ground.


He swears he was only laughing at the noise I was making… not my misfortune. (Side eye emoji)

Once the trail leveled out a bit, I was actually able to focus on the movement and get into a slight rhythm… and not hate the world. There were trees on either side of us for most of the way, but then we came to a huge opening and it was gorgeous. I also hadn’t fallen in a few minutes, so that was a victory alone.


It even got a little fun and I stopped being cold. At least my body stopped being cold. My face was still frozen. I think I’m going to buy a full-face ski mask. I don’t care what people think of me. After a little while I started getting tired and I still had to have energy to make it back to the car so we turned around. Coming back down the hills is way more fun. As long as your skis don’t come out of the tracks…

Here’s a photo of my frozen braid when we got back to the car… I look like Elsa! Or Anna? Anna.


Have you guys done that ish?

I won’t lie; It kind makes me aspire to be a biathalon badass.

Pretty much all these winter sports I’m learning up here I suck at in the beginning. But… it’s nice to have a really sweet, helpful coach. He gives me the best tips and doesn’t push me to the point of frustration. He’s patient with me, keeps the mood light and fun, and so I’ve voted him my favorite. ; ) I give this day date two gloved thumbs up!

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