The secret to enjoying your job (or ski conditions)

This Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was on my office door for years as a partial explanation for why I hadn’t retired yet.


However, the key to enjoying your hobby (for me, definitely cross country skiing from November through April), is adapting to whatever Mother Nature dishes out to us. During the past 19 years, the SCUM have met Sundays (regardless of temperature) once there is sufficient snow on the ground to ski, and last January it was -37 deg F at Birch Hill for one of our Sunday training sessions.That workout was documented on this blog then.

January 2014 was quite the contrast as summarized by the National Weather Service today:

January 2014 weather summary

In addition, because of the strong temperature inversions, temperatures remained well above freezing at higher elevations (like Birch Hill) even after airport temperatures had dropped below freezing. This has made for very hard, icy trails that can result in painful bruises, rashes, concussions, and broken bones if one makes a careless mistake

Icy landing_sm

that can sideline skiing for an extended period of time (depending upon severity of injury).

As skiers, we need to be increasing our training volume with the Sonot Kkaazoot just 8 weeks away. So what is a skier to do, when hours of skate skiing on uneven icy trails overload our cerebral neurons and all those secondary stabilizers within our legs?

Relax, and enjoy a classical ski with klister for kick instead of hard wax. I admit, I usually skate when it’s too warm for blue hard wax, but today having rock solid tracks to direct my skis meant that I could concentrate on my knee and ankle bend or that my elbows were positioned out to the side when I doublepoled. Suddenly, the pointers that Pete Leonard had given us during this week’s FXC Masters skate ski sessions were easier to address without the fear of falling. Not only that, I enjoyed looking at the wonderful environment I was out in. Sure, klister is messy to deal with, but a little citrus cleaner (from your bike gear) will remove it from places it isn’t supposed to be. And a garbage bag around the kick zone area of your skis that have been secured at tips and tails will prevent the klister from getting inside your ski bag or the back of your car.

Try it! I’m sure you’ll enjoy your next skate session (or work for that matter) more. A little (or a lot) of change is good for all of us.