Thursday, December 30, 2010

Physically sore, Emotionally rested

As we speak (or more appropriately, as I type this), my ass is killing me.  So are my legs and arms.  Yesterday, I went cross country skiing for the first time (that I can remember).  I went with a friend who claimed she's a "novice," but 2 minutes on the trails and I could see that she was better than she led on. 

As a young person in pretty good shape, I figured I'd get the hang of things pretty quickly once I learned how to balance on skis.  This was true, sort of.  The first mile was tough, and I just kind of shuffled along.  My friend had confidence in me, saying that if I can walk-- I can ski.  Well...skiing kind of felt like walking for the first mile.  

We kept on and soon approached a small hill.  I fell half way down it, but bounced back up right away.  My friend was impressed, saying most people who fall on skis are a tangled mess and have trouble recovering.  "Must be from years of playing hockey," I thought to myself.  A while later, we came up to a big hill.  And not big like a mountain, but plenty big for me.  My friend looked like a pro, as she glided down the hill with ease.  I stood at the top, and put my arms up and out as she looked back me.  It was the "WTF am I supposed to do?" gesture.  I thought about my options (taking off the skis and walking down the hill, sitting down and and starting to cry, or saying "eff it" and just go for it).  After about 15 seconds of running through my options, I went for it.  Half way down, I biffed it.  Skis tangled, sprawled out in the middle of the trail, I laid there, and looked up at my friend.  She watched as I struggled to pick myself back up.  After a few awkward attempts, I was upright and skiing on towards her. 

"I didn't think you wanted me to watch," she said sweetly.  "I didn't," I replied.  And I'm glad she didn't watch.  I would have felt worse than I already did.  It's funny how a person can read another in that way-- she knew that I didn't want her to see me fall-- so she turned away, but didn't leave me.  That's dope.  That's true friendship.  

I brushed the snow off my body, and we skied on.  There were a couple times when we could have taken a shortcut back to the car, but I said I planned on earning the wine we left at the house as a post-ski refreshment.  This might have been a mistake.  We came up to another hill-- this one with a sharp curve to the right and a drop off to the left.  I kid you not, we stood atop the hill for 10 minutes discussing what to do next.  I was given the following options-- 1. Turn around and ski back the other way.  2. Take off our skis and walk down.  3. Go for it.  

We went for it.  Actually, we let a few folks go ahead of us.  We listened for screams or crashing sounds, but heard none.  My friend went first, and said she would likely scream, squeal, or do both.  Off she went-- and stayed silent.  I stood there, wishing I hadn't come skiing, wishing I was better at it, or that I really could just take off my skis and walk down the hill.  I'm too stubborn for that though-- I'm too proud.  

I took one big deep breath, and down I went.  I went around the corner, and guess what?  It wasn't a steep-plummet-to-my-death kind of hill.  It was a decent incline however, and get this-- I didn't fall.  I smiled when I reached my friend.  "You did it!" she shouted.  To most anyone else, this may have seemed a menial feat, but to me it was important.  I tried something new, was honestly quite scared, faced it head on...and oh yeah-- I ended up being just fine.  

I had a beautiful day yesterday-- took the day off work (I can do that, because I'm part time until Monday), went outside of the city, didn't once look at my cell phone or email, spent some time outside, got my heart rate up, and had really meaningful conversation.  I think it's important to make time to do these kinds of things.  I get burned out easily, but something as simple as an afternoon of skiing, and dang I really feel rested.  I feel emotionally rejuvenated.  I feel good, because I overcame a challenge. 

I really can't say if I will go cross country skiing again anytime soon.  I think I should, but I'm not going to lie-- it's frustrating to not be good at it.  Granted, I got better as the afternoon went on-- but still, there's no biathlon in my near future.  The company was good (my friend did a nice job of supporting me, but not making me feel terrible when I wiped out or couldn't keep up).  The weather was awesome (mid thirties).  And overall, the workout was pretty good-- like I said at the beginning of this post- my booty, legs and arms are all quite sore.  That's a good thing though, because through it all, I came home emotionally rested and rejuvenated.  It's amazing what a day playing hooky can do for the soul.

Lastly, I should note that I thought about bringing my camera on our adventure, but figured I would wipe out a few times, and it wasn't worth risking a thousand dollars worth of equipment to get "the perfect shot."  I'm glad I chose to leave the camera behind-- had I not, I would likely still be on the trail collecting pieces of my Nikon off the ground. 

1 comment:

Greg said...

That is a VERY good first run. You will get good at this if you go just a couple more times, I promise.