Saturday, January 26, 2008

Left, Ouch. Right, Ouch.

‘Try something new everyday’ so the saying goes, so I did. I only wish it wasn’t quite so painful. Today, Fauntleroy, his man and I all piled into the car and headed north to try skate skiing. Assured that it was still cross country and not on a hill of any size, I agreed to give her a go! Into my head popped images of someone handing me a riffle as I skied my way to victory in a biathlon. No guns though and no victory in the podium sense.

Thankfully we took Clare’s offer of arranging a lesson as we would have been lost without it. First, you get the basics, just the legs. “It’s just like skating” said Ted. “Ummmm, Ted, no it isn’t”. Legs straight, you push off with one foot and pivot (very slightly) your torso in that direction. Apparently that is supposed to make you move. And eventually it did. Not far, but there was movement.

Next you add the poles, but only as you glide on one ski. Don’t forget to pivot, shoulders down, not too high with the arms, you’re not pushing yourself along, just helping the glide. “Ski. Bang. Ski. Bang. Ski. Bang.” With that instruction, all Ted reminded me of was my desire to have a gun. Pushing, sorry, assisting, with the poles on both sides is saved for larger hills.

By the end of our second trail, Fauntleroy and I had managed to achieve a bit of rhythm. I could go for about 100 meters, then of course I would daydream a bit, and be out of sync. Or just when I thought I was getting it, someone would whiz by. ‘Show off’ I thought to myself. “Wish I had that gun now.’ But, comparison is the thief of joy I once heard, so I got back at it and in the end I think we did about 10 km in all. Not bad for the first time out, and I didn’t fall once!

The day was beautiful and the silence among the trees fantastic. There was a fresh dusting of snow clinging to the branches and there was no wind to disturb it.

We finished the day in our usual fabulous fashion. Past experience told us that all we could expect from the concession stand was chili, chips and soda. So this time we came prepared and for lunch unloaded our picnic and pie baskets, 2 small coolers and a tote bag with a thermos of soup, a thermos of hot cider with butter and rum, sparkling water and sparkling lemonade. Real dishes, tea cups, cutlery, a cutting board and of course, cloth napkins accompanied our feast.

We started with an assortment of cheeses, melon and prosciutto, artichoke hearts and humus. This was followed by curried pumpkin and ginger soup and sandwiches on organic whole grain bread with BBQ chicken breast. For dessert, cranberry cheese pie from my new pie cookbook that I got from Mr. Underpants for Christmas. Delicious!

We may not know how to skate ski well (but at least we can do it!) but we know how to eat!


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