Colorful Colorado

Watching the Olympics made me try Nordic skiing again after 20 years

We woke up to snow this morning — after several 70+ degree days — so it seemed an appropriate time to finally share this post. Oy, Colorado. You missed the memo that it is now April. 

Have you ever sat watching the Olympics and thought, “Now that looks fun, I should do that.” And the next thing you know you have skis latched to your feet with a wide, icy snow field in front of you and no idea what to do next or how to avoid involuntarily falling into the splits while strapped to those skies?

No? Me either. Good talk. Thanks for stopping by.

The 2018 Winter Olympics may have come to an end many, many weeks ago, but before they did, Dan and I decided to hit the mountains and learn how to Nordic ski. And guys, I didn’t accidentally maim myself in the process. So my questions is: Should I call the International Olympic Committee directly, or wait for them to get in touch with me?

colorado nordic skiing

colorado nordic skiing

My father has been a Nordic skier for longer than I have resonant memories. As children we would often go along on weekend skiing adventures, experiencing peak enjoyment when he towed us along with a nylon cord of some kind, relieving us of exerting any real effort at all while still gaining some respectable speed. As I got a bit older, I became a little more experienced at propelling myself along, and even entered a race in which I placed second. (True story.) But then my teen years came along and I fell out of practice. Then my twenties, and I fell really, really out of practice. And then I turned thirty.

And then, it was February 2018. The Winter Olympics were taking place and at long last, Dan and I decided to take my dad up on his offer to take us to the snowfields.

colorado nordic skiing

We went to Devil’s Thumb Ranch, a beautiful location in the Rocky Mountains. It was cold. Absolutely freezing. The kind of cold that cuts right through all your material layers and puts your very bones into a deep freeze. The kind of cold that makes you question why you don’t immediately relocate to a tropical location where you could instead take up the art of surfing or scuba diving or shark taming. The kind of cold that makes you certain you’ll perish immediately, and the cold and ice and snow will so perfectly preserve your body that one day you will be discovered by an explorer and National Geographic will dedicate a whole cover story to the amazing things to be learned from this ancient human specimen.

And yet somehow that did not deter us.

colorado nordic skiing

I was pleased to discover that though it had indeed been 20 years, after about 20 minutes back on the skis, I was picking up the rhythms again. (Again, if any of you would like to submit my name to the proper Olympic authorities, I promise to act surprised when they contact me.) Not only was I remembering the cadence, but I was loving it.

Now, bear in mind that cross country skiing is hard. It is a workout. Except for some small hills that we came across on this particular outing, every bit of forward motion was achieved by our own exertion. But that challenge really contributes to the fun. It’s possible that after this adventure, I finally understand the athletically inclined. (OK, probably not, but maybe.)

colorado nordic skiing

What I don’t understand is how to effectively juggle two poles, two gloves and one phone while trying to take a picture. Hence this avant-garde image here.

colorado nordic skiing

I very much recommend that you find your nearest snowfield and try Nordic skiing one day. If you live in Colorado, that day could be today, what with this late season snowfall. Again I say, oy.


SIGNED, anya elise

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