After my attempt at fat biking last week, I felt pretty confident strapping on cross-country skis for this week’s episode.
In fact, this was my second time cross-country skiing. My first time was also at Horseshoe Resort five years ago for a TV segment for a different network.
Back then, I tried classic style, which is said to be a little easier than skate style. I wanted to up the degree of difficulty so I opted for skate style.
That was a mistake. I fell within the first three seconds of getting my skis on, with the laughter of my instructor, Andrew, ringing in my ears.
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And no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get the hang of skate style. While it does allow for more ‘dynamic’ skiing — if you know how to do it — I learned the hard way that for a beginner, classic style cross-country skiing is probably the smart way to go.
Once the group of young kids raced past me, I was going to spend as long as necessary to go from ‘terrible’ to ‘not great’ on cross-country skis. When I started using my arms in concert with my legs, I was able to finally understand what skate style was supposed to feel like.
It was extra frustrating for me since I’ve been a downhill skier my entire life. Proficiency on downhill skis didn’t translate nearly as well I had hoped.
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And I must admit, being forced to provide your own power on skis — instead of just depending on a hill and gravity — was a great feeling. That familiar burn in your lungs from intense cardiovascular activity didn’t feel nearly as bad travelling through the woods, breathing in fresh air, as it might normally on a treadmill in a gym.
Thus far, both episodes of Fitness Served Cold have focused on linear, horizontal motion. Now it’s time to get vertical.
Next week, I try ice climbing.