Ski Selfie

IMG_2160
Skiing on my neighborhood lake
February 2014

I first learned to cross-country ski  when I was 19 and living in Norway.  Learning to ski in a country where skiing is the national pastime was both a blessing and a curse.  (The national slogan”Nordmenn er født med ski på beina” or “Norwegians are born with skis on their feet” may help you understand why little Norway is so dominant in the Winter Olympics.)  The curse part was that I was 19 the first time that I strapped on skis; I think I spent most of that first afternoon either falling down or trying to get up.  To add insult to injury, as I struggled to complete the “beginner” 2K loop, dozens of skiers zipped right by me – including both a 90+ year old pensioner and a baby.  I would call him a toddler, but not for the fact that later I saw him crawling around on a blanket in picnic area by the parking lot.  Nothing bursts your bubble quicker than the realization that even a kid who can’t walk yet can ski better than you can.

IMG_2162

The blessing part is that cross-country skiing can be such a joyful experience.  I learned in Norway that it is cross-country skiing is a sport that just about everyone can do.  I also learned that skiing allows you to get out and experience nature in a way that is very different from the rest of the year. The stillness of the snowy woods can be breathtaking.  In the silence, you hear your breathing and the rhythmic sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sh of your skis, interrupted occasionally by the sound of an animal or a bird. Unlike summer’s cacophony, in winter each sound is individualized and accentuated, carrying alone across long distances. From afar, I heard the yank-yank-yank-yank of the red-breasted nuthatch while skiing on Lake Harriet last week; it was still calling when I skied up to it 10 minutes later.  When you are out in the cold, but not feeling it because your arms and legs are working hard, pumping heat through your body – that’s when cross-country skiing makes you feel the power for conquering winter.

And then there is this.  The unique light and colors of a deep winter day that perhaps can only be experienced on skis.

IMG_2161

It’s been years now since I learned to ski.  I rarely fall down anymore, although I am still passed on the trail by faster skiers.   Truthfully, I haven’t been out on skis much in the recent past.  Climate change and the warmer winters of the past decade have meant the snow conditions have been less than perfect in Minnesota.  This winter, however, the snow conditions are wonderful.  And I have rediscovered my joy in cross-country skiing.

IMG_2152
Skiing the Luminary Loppet with my oldest son.
February 2014

This post is a response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie.   See additional posts here.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Ski Selfie

  1. You so nicely captured the joy of cross-country skiing! (great selfie, too!) In MN, we are wrapping up the high school Nordic ski season this week with the State meet. So glad my son discovered a lifelong sport as part of his high school athletics.

    Like

  2. Pingback: WPC – Selfie | Words 'n Pics...

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie | Khana's Web

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie | seeking life

  5. Pingback: “Maybe if I edit it a bit …” | Zimmerbitch: age is just a (biggish) number

  6. I envy your skiing skills. My husband loves to ski, and learnt when he was in his 20s, but I took my first downhill skiing lesson at the age of 48, and it just killed my feet. I thought I might try cross-country skiing next winter instead Or would you recommend that I just stay in the bar, and ply my 50-year-old self with schnapps while he does his thing on the slopes? 😀

    Like

  7. Pingback: obscurity [a series of hipster selfies] | Ramisa the Authoress

Everyone has the right to an opinion and I'd love to hear yours! While comments are very welcome, they will be moderated. My kids read this blog, too!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s