Monday, March 02, 2009

What I did this Winter by F.G.R Marathon

I made some promises about updating this blog that I fell very short on. My plan was originally to wow the readers of the blog with a challenge that would be better suited to Minnesota winter: Cross Country Skiing. I have been driving through Mora for years, which is the site of the Minnesota Vasaloppet, a 35km cross country ski race for people who are stupid and like to trudge through the snow with sticks attached to their feet and risk frostbite. I figured that if so many people like to do this there must be something to it. That and I figured if I was good enough I would add a gun to the equation and become a biathlete.

I tracked down a ski swap that was held in Dec. and figured I would go pick up the equipment I would need and be good to go. This would be a little tight as the Vasaloppet was in February, but since I was still in relatively good shape since the marathon I figured I would be able to at least finish.
Well, you can’t finish if you don’t start. And I am not just talking about starting the Vasaloppet; I am talking about starting cross county skiing in general.

Let me explain.

I went to the ski swapand it was an absolute nightmare. There was like a 45 minute line just to get in, then there were so many people and not enough employees that there was no way someone like me who knows absolutely was going to get the help I need. Then, even if I did, it looked like the checkout line was about an hour long. So, after 45 minutes in line, I left defeated. I did track down another sales event at Midwest Mountaineering that was going to take place a couple weeks later.

The Midwest Mountaineering was a much better shopping experience. Picked up everything I needed for a reasonable price. The package I bought included lessons that were to take place 3 weeks later at Trollhaugen, which was a major selling point, as I have no idea the mechanics of the sport. Flash forward 3 weeks later and I took the hour trek to Trollhaugen and I could find no one from Midwest Mountaineering in the lodge, and the people working there had no idea what I was talking about. I had RSVPd and arrived early and wandered around the lodge until about a half hour after the lessons were supposed to start. Then the guy at Trollhaugen gave me a pass, figuring the people were on the course. This was all well and good except for one small problem; I do not even know how to put the stupid f’n things on my feet, much less get to this magical path. After what was about 15 minutes trying to attach the shoes to the skis, I was off for my first experience on cross country skis. Do you want to know how it went? Well, if falling on your ass between the times when you are barely moving across snow while Joe Cool high schoolers are gliding by you like Tony f’n Little is considered cross country skiing, then I am as good as whatever Olympic athlete is good at cross country skiing. All of this horror and I finally took the damn things off my feet in a rage and walked back to my car, planning the scathing email I was going to write Midwest Mountaineering. The rage only worsened when I got lost on the way home.

So, as I mentioned above, I lost my cross country skiing bug until next year. Which is a relief because spell check does not recognize Vasaloppet which is a major pain in the ass.