By the time Thursday rolled around I was starting to feel better, and a good thing to! I was signed up for my first cross country ski lesson at Canada Olympic Park (COP) that night. It was absolutely beautiful out Thursday. I really wanted to run – the sky was blue, the trees were covered in frost but in the sun it felt nice and warm out. I didn’t want to push my luck in getting over this cold by doing too much too soon though so I settled on a walk to the grocery store instead.
Anyhow, back to the cross country skiing! I’ve signed up for a set of three lessons throughout February. Learning to cross country ski has been on my list of things to do since moving back to Canada in 2006. I’ve finally decided that 2010 is the year to get out there and try. From all of Laurel’s accounts it is a lot of fun and a great workout. COP is close to home and with more than 2 km of groomed XC trails it seemed like a great place to go for weeknight lessons. Angie is super excited that I’m giving it a try, so long as I keep all muscles, bones and ligaments intact.
The set up was so different from my downhill lesson! That one was full of 25 kids and 5 adults with three instructors. For our XC lesson there were seven of us with two instructors. We split into two groups and my instructor figured we should just strap on the skis, go and see how it went. We practiced snow ploughing, gliding through tracks (like in the picture above), double poling and different techniques for getting up a hill. Then we figured we would tackle the same downhill slope that we practiced on during the downhill lesson… I had issues skiing down that hill the first time, but on XC skis it is a whole new experience! You build a lot of speed on those skinny XC skis and I wound up having to bail twice! I landed on my right hip both times…and now ow! It hurts!
I’m definitely excited to keep trying XC skiing. It adds a whole new cross training dimension to my workouts and it is nice to break up the swim/bike/run a bit! Plus it helps me to appreciate the winter wonderland here in Calgary just a little bit more.