I am so glad I hung onto my cross-country skis when we moved into town! Last Sunday was a perfect ‘old fashioned Christmas card’ kind of day with sunlight sparkling off the snow blanketed trees and underbrush. The Village had plowed the trail that parallels the highway and I found myself scooting right along. (Well ‘scooting’ indicates speed…. so perhaps a better word would have been ‘shuffling.’)
The last time I donned skis was during one of those massively-deep-snow-winters between ’06 and ’10. We were living at Coryville and I was breaking trails almost daily, often running out of energy before enjoying a decent run. The oval I’d made around our house was about right for my senior citizen sense of security. But there was a long steep hill behind the house that was tempting. One day in a fit of delayed adolescence I decided to indent the pristine hillside with tracks that bisected the slope in a sideways direction.
After a few passes to tamp down the track, I was able to gather enough speed to have fun, but not enough to be dangerous. Or so I thought. Suddenly one ski cut the corner and I found myself toppling over, with my skis mired in the deep snow.
It shouldn’t have been a problem. After all I was an old hand at falling. Except that this time I could not get up. There was just too much snow. I floundered around helplessly in the deep fluffy stuff – rolling over and writhing and squirming – attempting to get back up and on the track. My poles were useless and there were no trees within reach. When one ski detached itself from my boot I considered removing the other one as well and crawling my way back up the hill. But the snow was just too deep and too soft. There was no way I could crawl without sinking into the deep soft snow.
Finally, with the errant ski snapped back on my boot and, with superhuman strength and dexterity, I managed to get vertical and back on the trail.
“Time to give away my skis, along with my skates to the younger generation.” I thought sadly.
But I kept the skis. I did give the skates away after a near “ skate-astrophe”
Geriatric grandmothers skating across the pitted surface of a hockey arena.
My friend took lessons in her younger years.
She attempts the bunny hop and even fancier manoeuvres.
I glide carefully on dull figure skates — never could get used to those darned pics!
We wore tube skates on frozen ponds with deep cracks, patches of snow and clumps of grass.
Falling was a big part of the fun!
Now I brave the distance from the boards to centre ice.
Go slowly over the bumpy area by the goal post and around the bend to where the ice is smoother.
Away I go, faster now!
My friend approaches — third time around for her!
She waves and I wave back.
My pic catches an indentation in the ice.
I wobble precariously.
Mustn’t fall! I tell myself.
Could break bones at my age.
Can’t stop toppling.
I hope desperately that my body’s intact ….?
Thanks be to God — it is!!