I went skiing at North Chagrin after work today. It was on my way home. I got off the exit and made a wrong turn. Shocking, since I’ve been to the park numerous times before. Again, I was watching the clock worried that there wasn’t going to be enough sunlight.
I wasn’t sure where to park when I got there. I parked, grabbed my skis and started exploring. The main trail was plowed so I had to find something through the woods. I went off and found a trail that had a bridge that went off to a building. OK, pretty fun, but I needed more. I went back to the trail, took off my skis and walked some. I found another trail through the woods that took me up to the duck pond. Cool, still breaking the track. I saw another person hiking and greeted them. I imagine skiers look pretty strange out to a casual hiker. I kept exploring and found a longer trail across the road. It turned out to be an awesome trail. Along the way, I realized that I stumbled upon the bridle trail. I took that for a ways, down a big hill and then back up the hill. It started to get dark so I turned around and headed back. I knew I was going to come back to keep exploring.
Another great day of skiing. I’m loving skiing through the woods.
Back to Simms park today after work for some skiing. It snowed consistently throughout the day so I was hopeful that the park conditions had improved since earlier in the week. I was glad to see that there were another 3” of snow in the park. It was drifting a bit and the wind was howling. I skied next to the trees to beat the wind and ran around the park for about an hour. I created track loop and went around the loop about 10 times. It reminded me of track cycling. It clears my head of the work detail and gets me thinking about bigger issues. Fun stuff.
I tackled new terrain today. I checked the clock every 5 minutes at work after lunch. I was eager to get out and hit the links. Yes, golf links. Shawnee Golf course, around the corner from work, is a metroparks golf course that opens up it’s land for XC skiing.
It was snowing heavily when I left the office. I fought some bad traffic for 20 minutes, concerned that I was losing precious daylight. I finally got there and wasn’t sure whether I was at the right place. A golf course in winter looks eerily empty. I parked off in the corner, unpacked and was on the course.
It was really cool. The coolest skiing yet. It was different because there was so much snow. I was probably skiing through 8” of powder on top of a 3” base. It was a great workout breaking the trail. I realized that I enjoy breaking a track first and then skiing back through that track.
I skied to the back of the course. It was a great feeling to be remote. That’s not even very remote, but remote for a city dweller like me. I was all alone without a house, car, or person in sight. It was snowing lightly and I imagined myself out in the back country skiing. Awesome feeling.
I skied for about an hour and was completely worn out by the time I got back to the car. What a great way to end the work day.
Day #3 of XC skiing was a new experience. I bought my new, incredibly old, skis and ski poles from Play It Again Sports. The poles and skis were $20 together. I also bought a pair of Whitewoods ski boots. The only downside is that the boots and bindings are 75cm type vs the click-in variety. I was too anxious to wait to buy new bindings. I also didn’t want to increase the investment by $50 for the bindings and better boots without knowing how I’d like it.
I couldn’t wait to try out my own equipment. I somehow managed to get through the rest of the work day without skipping out to ski. I was ready to go when 5:30 rolled around. I packed up the skis in my audi ski bag (which came with my car) and drove to the local park.
It seemed goofy at first skiing around the park. I felt a little better after seeing another set of tracks. There was only about 1” - 2” of snow on the ground so there were spots that were bare. I created some of my own tracks and used the other person’s tracks.
I found out the XC skiing is much faster in established tracks. There is some fun to creating your own track but it’s slower going. There’s then something rewarding about going back over your own track.
I ran around the park for about an hour until it started to get dark. The park borders some shady apartments so I had a few thoughts of having to defend myself with my ski pole. I still think I’d be a sitting duck though. I’m not fast enough to outrun someone on skis and my ski pole could only be used as a spear. If I missed, I’d be even slower. I need to pack a gun like the nodric biatheletes. That would be awesome.
More skiing tomorrow!
I can’t help feelings of disappointment with my recent joy. I found a reason to love winter in Ohio. It only took 24 years to find it out. I don’t count the first four years of my life because likely I wouldn’t have been enjoying cross country (XC) skiing or at least wouldn’t have realized how much it helps the winter blahs.
It’s truly amazing how happy I’ve been over the past few days. I had been considering trying out XC skiing for the past 3 months or so. I just randomly picked up a book on it at the new book section at the library. Three aspects to it intrigued me. First, it’s virtually free once you get going. Second, it’s thought to be the best aerobic workout in the world. Third, it gets you outside and in the elements. Fourth (yes, I said three), it appeals to cyclists because of the solitary nature of it.
Melissa and I went for the first time on Saturday (1/6/10) to Chapin forest. We rented a pair of skis for $5/hr. At first we had some trouble clicking in. It’s quite a bit different, but way simpler, than regular skis. It took a few falls after clicking in to really get the hang of it. By ‘get the hang of it’, I mean that I maintained a relatively stable upright position. Melissa was a natural although she credits that to her XC skiing back when she was a kid.
I was sweating within 20 minutes. Dripping sweat. I completely overdressed. I had two layers of under armour and a ski coat. Of course, part of it might have been my poor form, but I really did feel like I had a great workout. We went for about 3 miles around a loop and then came back in. It took about an hour. I loved it and Melissa had a pretty good time too. I’m fairly certain I’m going to keep it up. In fact, I went out the next day, Sunday, by myself. More on that another time.
Twitter and blogging serve entirely different purposes for me. I don’t like twitter. I thought it could replace writing but it can’t. It’s the same travesty as people who think text messaging is a replacement for a phone conversation.
I was importing twitter updates onto this site thinking that it’d be interesting. No, its’ just noise. Twitter is more of a real-time reflection of life without enough context to make it interesting six months later. Who cares to read about my “@foobar blah blah blah”. It’s neat to ping someone through twitter like that but it’s not something that needs to be recorded for eternity - unlike my fantastic writing
I’ve noticed a theme on here: “the semi-annual weblog reboot”. Here it goes again. Who knows why I stop from time to time, but this time it will stick. REALLY. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is to understand why I write.
I write because it gives me an outlet. It stretches my brain beyond zeros and ones that I have to deal with every day. It lets me be a little creative. It serves as a running documentary of my life.
When my time here is done, I want my legacy to be more than a few lines on an obituary. Instead, I’ll leave behind scraps of insight into my life that someone can piece together to get a picture of who I was. Hopefully it’s for my kids.