Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ski Improvements

Well, I'm progressing with my skiing adventures, and honestly, I'm managing reasonably well for being 51 and having creaky joints (the body kind, not the smoking kind).  I've now been out skiing half a dozen times I think, or thereabouts.  I started out with loops on a relatively flat trail, which gave me some confidence in getting myself where I needed to go, and in staying upright while doing so.  

After my initial disaster run, which was the subject of the last blog post, I learned that "waxless" skis do not actually mean "never-have-to-wax-them" skis. While you don't have to wax them as regularly as classic skis, they still benefit from waxing, especially when the weather is close to the 0°C (32 F) mark.  The light wax coating helps them glide, rather than get stuck in the clumpy snow, which is what happened to me on the first day.  So, I bought a product called Swix F4, which is a "universal glide wax." (Yes, there's a llama in the background of that picture.  It's a pet bed.)

So you might notice that, like all products sold in Canada, the label is in both French and English.  Thus, you might also grasp that the word "fart" is French for wax.  So now, my juvenile mind thinks of this product as ski farts.  (We're in the midst of a global pandemic...we have to find humour wherever we can these days!) Swix F4 is applied similarly to a deodorant.  The cap comes off to reveal a little sponge and you squeeze the container until a bit of liquid comes out, and then the sponge applies it on the bottom of the ski.  You wait 5 minutes and take the cap off the other end of the ski farts container, and you find a nice little felt polishing pad.  You just buff it up a bit, and you're ready to go.  

Naturally, the second time I went skiing, not that long after the first, I went equipped with ski farts, and let me tell you, it was FAST!  And I fell down again....a LOT!  And this was when I learned my second crucial piece of information.  When it's close to the freezing point, you need the ski farts.  When it is really cold, you DO NOT need ski farts.  So now, I am more judicious about the application of the ski farts and only use it when the weather is on the warm side (for winter, obviously).  

Here's a map of my local ski trails.  
For my first few outings, I went on the "Le Rond" trail, which is the purplish coloured loop slightly to the left.  I can do that loop a couple of times in an hour, plus the bit to the parking area, which is a good beginner run.  Today, I made the bold decision to go to new trails.  I started on Le Rond, took the Coombs road junction from the top of Le Rond, and then proceeded on Cy Pass to the birches, past the Sugar Brook Lodge, and around the corner to the Gastug trail, which has some steep uphill sections.  Then I went back along Cy Pass and finished off the last leg of Le Rond.  I only fell down once, and that was on an uphill section, and I think my legs were just really tired by that point.  But the scenery was glorious and it was a really lovely day to ski.

It wasn't too warm (not sticky) but we also had fresh snow last night, which makes it a little slower. I'm extremely lucky to live so close to such a great trail area.  I'm looking forward to exploring more of it over time.  

In addition, this skiing adventure business has given me a better mental viewpoint on winter.  I don't hate winter quite so much now, and I do try to appreciate the beauty of my local winter scenery. Plus, I get to wear my knitting (the headband, not the sweater....I don't have THAT much free time!)

To add record-keeping capacity to my newfound winter activities (skiing and snowshoeing), I recently charged up my Fitbit.  I actually bought it over 1.5 years ago, but never charged or used it before.  Probably this was because I was just a bit too intimidated to discover the actual extent of my sedentary-ness.  I have actually found it to be useful because my little snowshoeing and skiing adventures are adding up in "steps" and I feel quite positive about it.  Even though I may not get 10,000 steps every day, I'm not doing that badly.  I also feel good that I typically get somewhere between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep every night. Today I had over 12,000 steps....yay me!  

That's all for now.  I hope all my readers are staying well and keeping healthy in these uncertain times.