Another Kind of Cross-Fit

crosscountryski

One of the things on my list of goals for the year is trying new activities and sports. So when we planned our February ski vacation, I immediately made a mental note to check out cross-country skiing while there. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons that are interesting to no one, I didn’t get a chance to take a class until yesterday, the last day of our vacation. The upside of waiting until the last day was that it was a great way to end my time at the mountain.

I’ve been somewhat intrigued by cross country skiing for years now, glutton for exhaustion that I am. I love hard workouts and it seemed a nice way to enjoy ski areas without fear of running into a tree. Or at least not running into a tree at top speed.

I did not start downhill skiing until my 20’s, and I remember mentioning my interest in cross-country to my friends at the time. Based on their reactions, I may as well as have suggested taking up knitting. To the twenty-something downhill skier, cross-country was, if not for wimps, at least not for macho thrill seekers. Since my whole purpose in taking up skiing was primarily social – skiing was a passion for my new fiancé (now husband) and most of my friends skied – I gave up on the idea of cross-country skiing and learned downhill skiing instead.

Well, I got news for you twenty-something weekend warriors – cross-country skiing is by no means for wimps. You certainly will not be able to cross-country ski all day after a late night of après at The Pickle Barrel like you do when you alpine ski on weekend at Killington. I really like to downhill ski, but it requires only a fraction of the effort of cross-country skiing, especially since you get a nice long rest on the lift between runs.

The muscles in my nose may have been the only ones I did not use on my cross-country skiing jaunt yesterday. Everything from the neck down was used, and used heavily. What a freaking workout! I was in a beginner class, so we really did not push too hard and we also only skied for just under 2 hours, but even at that low level, I appreciated what fabulous exercise cross-country skiing is. I felt more exhausted from the 2 hours of cross-country skiing than I had from the entire week of downhill skiing.

Needless to say, the setting was perfect –woodsy, quiet, nice groomed trails. Softly falling snow, perfect temps. I think I would have loved it anyway, but the ideal conditions certainly didn’t hurt. I am so glad I got a chance to try it, and like so many things, only wish I hadn’t waited so long. I hope to be able to find some trails where I can cross-country ski closer to home.

Next up: snowshoeing! Saw some people doing that and it looked like fun, too. And since Punxsutawney Phil seems to have been delusional when he made his prediction on Feb 2, I just might have time to try it before winter signs off for 2013…

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5 thoughts on “Another Kind of Cross-Fit

  1. I cross-country skiied for the first time two winters ago and LOVED it. I thought I was pretty fit from running, but it was an incredible workout. (Though it was pretty awesome to hear my 25 yr old son huffing and puffing behind me, complaining about how much work it was!)

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