My First day on Cross Country Skis

December 04, 2010

It had been snowing for a couple of weeks. Outside our window the snow was piled up a meter deep. My husband and I were suffering from cabin fever so we drove into Chrudim and bought two pairs of used cross-country skis, two pairs of boots, and two pairs of poles from a second-hand shop.  It all cost us just a little over a 100 dollars.  We had everything we needed to start a season of skiing.  My husband is from the Alpine region of North Italy. Skiing comes as natural as breathing for him. For me, the situation is a bit different. I come from Florida. I had never been on skis before coming to the Czech Republic. Today is the first day I have ever owned a pair of cross-country skis, much less used them. However I have been studying how to ski on the internet. I have been watching instructional videos on YouTube. So after a week of instruction I am ready to venture out on the snow to put into practice what I have learned. After lunch we slipped on our boots, went into our garden with all of our equipment and strapped on our skis. I was ready for my first attempted at cross-country skiing.  The terrain around our house is flat, no hills to assault on my first day. I pushed one foot in front of me, thrust my polls into the snow and advanced forward. Switching my weight from one foot to the other. Keeping my knees bent a little and my weight a bit forward I progressed to the field behind our village. I was skiing! I was really skiing. Naturally I was like a baby learning to walk. My husband was very patient. When I fell he laughed and told me, ‘That is what you get for learning to ski with the internet.’ That struck me funny, I started laughing so hard I couldn’t get up.  Finally, I managed to up right myself and started off again.  It was a cold day but once I got running on those skis I warmed up really fast.  I was pulling off my scarf about a 100 yards from the house.  The great thing about cross-country skiing is that you don’t need a lot of experience. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment. You don’t need to pay lift fees for the slopes.  You don’t need to travel a long way from home. You just go out your door and ski across the fields and dales.  It is so easy and fun.  By the end of the afternoon I felt pretty confident. As the sun started to set, we turned towards the house. We were both tired in a good kind a way. Coming in from the cold we felt flushed with the heat of the house and warmed by our excursion. I fixed a couple of mugs of hot apple cider with rum.  We set down and reminisced about our adventure across the fields. What a perfect day.  Gianfranco thinks it would be fun to plan a ski trip on New Year’s Eve.  If there was a full moon and clear night, the white snow would make everything so bright.  We could wear those lights on our heads and take some sandwiches and grog. We could invite some friends and go up to the top of the hill near Chrudim and ski across the ridge.  We would be able to see the fireworks from all the towns and villages in the valley below.  It sounds like it could be such a fun way to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  I can’t wait.  We can only hope the weather will be nice and I can learn how to manage a hill on skis by New Year’s Eve.

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