Before I let you know about last weekend, I have to admit that about four weeks ago I suffered a ButtBerry injury. (Mistake #1: Carry a BlackBerry in the center rear pocket of a cycling jacket. Mistake #2: Take a feet-out-from-under-you fall while skate skiing. Mistake #3: Land squarely on said BlackBerry with the full force of your body and land directly on your butt and lower back. I initially thought I had a BackBerry injury, but no…it was butt. Put this landing on trails that are essentially frozen solid earth, covered by a few wood chips and about 3 inches of snow. Result: A butt injury that took three weeks to heal to about 90%.
Let this be a lesson to everyone – don’t carry a BlackBerry in your back pocket, protected in an OtterBox, while skiing. Thanks to the OtterBox, the BlackBerry is perfectly fine.
On the upside of the accident, the x-rays showed that there were no bone breaks. Doctor Yemm of Orthopedic Center of the Rockies told me that I “have a nice spine” and that I’m “well balanced” (though some would certainly argue this point).
There were around 100 participants at the camp with abilities ranging from never-ever-been-on-Nordic -skis to advanced skiers looking to build racing skills. Camp organizers keep the student to instructor ratio to around 6 to 1, which was great. The instructors (Murray Selleck, Jon Freckleton and Jim Sanders) for my sessions were all very skilled skiers and great teachers as well.
I decided to try classic skiing in the morning and skate skiing in the afternoons. I consider myself a beginner classic skier and an intermediate skate skier. Because the camp also arranged for manufacturer demo equipment, I was able to try waxless (skis that have a texture on the bottom of the ski, beneath the boot (or kick) area that resembles fish scales) and waxable (you apply wax to create the kick area)) classic skis.
Without going into a lot of detail here, know that skis, boot and poles are like bicycles in that you need the right size, the model designed for the type of skiing you intend to do and the higher performance models are more expensive.
Nordic skiing is a fantastic workout. It is the best overall body workout you can ask for. Nordic skiers are on record as having the highest VO2max of any sport.
I have to say that skiing, working on drills and trying to perfect my technique for about four hours per day made me tired – the good kind of tired. I love being in the mountains with snow falling through the crisp air and moving around the mountain trails.