Related: 40x40 List
Date completed: Saturday, January 2, 2016
Last year, I dipped my toe in the icy water of winter sports by attending the National Winter Trails Day event at Fort Snelling State Park. It was a fun event and inspired me to add cross country skiing to my 40x40 list. Because I knew I could do better than this...
In my defense - it is pretty difficult to ski with a purse!
Cross country skiing lessons
Because I am most comfortable learning new things with formal instruction and supervision of professionals, I decided it would be best to take a lesson. The Loppet Foundation offers group lessons on the weekends at the Hiawatha Golf Course which is not too far from our home. It seemed best to get acquainted with the course most accessible to my home. I was happy that Scott was willing to join me for the lesson.
Our group had about 16 students with two instructors - Thomas and Caroline. After getting fitted for boots, skis and poles, we talked about staying warm and dry while cross country skiing. Thomas and Caroline offered good tips about layering, neck and face gaiters/buffs/chutes, and skin protection.
We then went outside to get into our skis and learn some basics. After making it down a small hill without falling, I was quite proud of myself and ready for the next hour and a half of drills. Thomas and Caroline demonstrated and then we practiced the basic techniques of classic cross country skiing: falling and getting back up, double pole, herring bone to get up a hill, run up the hill, and snow plow for going down hills.
For most of the lesson I was able to watch Scott ski - he's quite good! I had a lot of fun and Thomas mentioned my big smile more than once so it must have been showing. I did fall a few times but at least I was more confident on falling safely and then getting back up without injuring myself. That said, I do have a giant bruise on the inside of my knee and I'm guessing I got it while skiing.
Skiing is in my future
My goal is to ski a couple of times this year. I don't want that lesson to go to waste and the only way I'll get better and more comfortable is through practice. I'd love to ski at Theodore Wirth Winter Recreation Area in Northeast Minneapolis, Hyland Hills Ski Area in Bloomington, and an extremely convenient option is Woodland Nature Center in Richfield.
The Nivens Family