This is a short narrative essay i wrote describing my first cross country ski race. Nothing to do with canoeing but it sure is an outdoor adventure.
I always thought cross country skiing was pretty much the same as alpine skiing. I figured that they were both skiing, but just up and down hills rather than down all the way like alpine skiing. I was an avid, but had to stop due to time constraints, so I thought it would be easy to join the cross country ski team at school and do just as well while getting exercise. I was right about getting exercise, but little did I know of the large differences in the two sports which I would later find out at my first race.
My first cross country ski race was the first time I had ever cross country skied in my time before. With no prior experience in the sport, starting with a race is quite a challenge. This is the beginning of my first Nordic race: I am lined up at the starting line with pairs of other skiers. When I approach the start line, I am anxiously waiting for my time to go. Fifteen, ten, five, four, three, two, one, go. At this point I am off, now I am finding the differences between my well experienced sport alpine skiing and Nordic skiing. Slipping and sliding with no metal edges to carve the snow, going eight kilometers per hour on an upward slope. It seemed like it took forever! At this point I am out of breath and just want to get to the finish line, I approach the very top of the hill. Tumbling down the following hill I go, not sure what I have gotten myself into, I realize what cross country skiing is all about. By the end of the race, bruised and exhausted I know that this is what I will continue to do, for the exercise. Of course I won’t be competing competitively any time soon.
Now that I have had my first race completed, I have a good understanding on what I need to work on. My cardio needed to be improved because in alpine skiing, you are going down a hill the entire way not getting as much cardiovascular endurance, while in Nordic skiing you are going uphill for the most part when you are not going downhill (sometimes the downhill part doesn’t seem like enough). Downhill skis have more of an edge for carving into the snow and cross country skis have less of an edge making you do more work and requiring more skill to get farther for your work which can be very tiring. As I trainedover the winter season and increased my cardiovascular endurance while increasing my cross country skiing skills, I was able to move to a harder level of skiing for my last race.
After I have started Nordic skiing, I love it because it is more physically demanding giving me more exercise as well as many other reasons not mentioned here. There are very big differences between cross country skiing and alpine skiing and I will never forget the day of my first Nordic ski race when I realized what those differences exactly were.