This morning, we decided we were going to go cross-country skiing. We planned to go to a nearby wilderness park that has tons of good trails. We gave M plenty of advance warning that we were going and when. As he was getting his outdoor gear on, he asked if we could go up to our cross-country ski club, instead of the park. The club is only about 20 minutes from our house and since we had been up yesterday, we knew the conditions would be good. As we were leaving our house, I mentioned casually that I thought the club was holding a ski race this morning, but we would still be able to ski.
When we arrived, the race was indeed going on – it wasn’t a huge group, but the skiers, who were older teenagers and adults, were zipping past at a fair clip. According to one of the organizers, there was no problem with us skiing – we just had to ski out of the race area, up to another trail and it would be clear sailing (or skiing) from there. We put our skis on and got ready to head out. But all of a sudden, M wouldn’t move. We asked him (repeatedly) what was wrong, but all he would say that was he was tired. Never mind that the race was almost over, he wasn’t going anywhere. We stood for 10 minutes in the cold, watching the skiers go by, when finally his dad suggested that we take off our skis and carry them up to where we were going to start. Bingo! M agreed and skis in our arms, we trudged through the snow up to our starting point. We passed the finish line and a few minutes later, a few more racers passed us. But they were turning around on an adjacent trail, so we put our skis back on and off we went.
Despite a bumpy start, we all had a good time. My husband and I are learning to skate ski – a different technique from “classic” skiing, where you ski in a set track and alternate your arms and legs to move forward. Skate skiing is more like ice skating (unless you are Patrick Chan – any jumps we do are completely accidental). M takes skiing lessons every Saturday and is also learning to skate ski – but from people who actually know how to do it. We are teaching ourselves and so far , M is much better at skating that either of us. He showed us how to use our poles properly and how to go up hills. I find this rally hard and I tend to fall back on classic techniques, despite the fact that the skis are completely different. But after a couple of demonstrations and some practice, it got easier. We finished off by coming down a big hill that leads us back to the hut and the parking lot – M in the lead.
I am not entirely sure why M refused to ski at first – it could have been embarrassment since he doesn’t think he skis that well or the fact that he just wasn’t expecting anyone else to be at the club this morning. But we got past it – no one got angry and no one yelled at anyone else. We enjoyed each other’s company and had fun. Success!