I've been 'home' on the West Coast for the past couple of weeks now. I've been doing wee workouts here and there...trying to get back into a routine as well as working off any flab that may be accumulating due to all the chocolate consumption. By the end of the holiday season I may just be sick of chocolate. Uh, yeah. Right.
Anyways, I have been on a couple long walks, one with my friend Doris along the English Bay seawall, and one with the parental unit on Christmas Day. Aside from that I brought my P90X DVDs along so I could get in some strength training.
The first DVD I threw in was the Back and Legs. I managed only 30 minutes of it before I started to feel every muscle in my glutes, hammies and quads start to rip. Hmm, this could mean two things. One I'm not yet recovered from the race or two I am sadly and completely out of shape already.
I think I'll just blindly believe the first, although it's more likely the second is more accurate.
I did manage to do the hour long Arms and Shoulders workout, much to my ego's liking. I then attempted the Legs and Back workout once again. A week had passed so I figured I might be able to handle a few minutes longer.
I was pleasently surprised to find I could do the entire hour workout this time. Even though I couldn't go as low in the squats in the last half hour - as my Mother kindly and jokingly pointed out to me from the sidelines.
That evening I realized that perhaps I shouldn't have challenged myself so much because I was having some difficulty standing, sitting, walking. You know, the usual stuff. Even more daunting was the fact that I was going to go skate skiing the next day with my friends Lance and Don. Hmmm.
I woke up the next day excited about my upcoming skate ski adventure. I had tried it once, for about 15 minutes, with my friends skis, but I'd never gone out with them. The plan was that I'd meet the boys on Cypress Mountain, ski with them for a bit, then take some lessons.
First things first though, I had to convince my legs that they a) wanted to move and 2) could support my weight as I stood or walked. I won't even bother with the gory details of how difficult it was to get into a sitting position when I had to use the loo. Sigh. Now I understand why those bars in the washrooms can be so handy!
I made it to the hill, got my ticket, signed up for an 1.5 hour lesson, got my skis then proceeded to have a yummy hot cocoa as I waited for the boys. They arrived, we got our gear on and started to head out.
Don knows how to skate ski so he was off like a shot. Lance hadn't skate skied before, but because he's annoyingly, I mean admiringly, adept at all things athletic he picked up what to do and was off like a slower shot. Then there was me.
Okay now, this should be like skating right? Which I don't know how to do, but have watched a lot of so I should be able to fake it... AAGGGHHH. Dang these skis are slippery. No problem, I have poles and very strong upper body so I will just put all my force into the poles to heave myself up this tiny incline...
The guys decided to go left at the 'interesection' and head straight up the mountain. I am not kidding when I say up the mountain. This trail was ridiculously straight up. 'Uh, guys....' I hollered as they were quite a bit ahead of me. 'I'm going to go this way - you know following the green EASY path and I'll meet you at 1pm after my lessons.'
As they are very sweet friends, they stopped where they were headed back to me and said they'd come with me on the easy trail. I welcomed the company, but did feel badly that they weren't heading out on a more challenging ski that would be better suited to their ability. Ah well. They didn't complain.
So we made our way up a lesser incline, with Don circling back now and then to see how I was getting along. I refrained from stating I wanted my cross country skis and kept going. I knew my arms were going to hate me the next day, about as much as my legs did from my P90X adventure the day before.
I managed to get going a little bit, with some 'Ah! Whoa! Eeek!' moments thrown in for good measure. I made sure they knew which 'AAAH!' scream meant I had fallen and which meant I had teeter tottered on my skis, but managed to stay upright. Thankfully my ninja princess skills came in handy and I managed to stay upright the entire day!
Here's one reason why I love cross country, and now skate skiing, so much. The people. As I floundered my way along I had mini chats with some very kind and encouraging people. It made the experience a lot of fun. Not to mention the boys were also very helpful to me and kept close by and offered pointers.
I had a ton of fun going down the hills after all the climbing...at least I had that skill. Heck, I even stopped to help a trio of girls figure out how to ski down a hill, even though I was flailing my way up it! They trusted my advice and made their way down the hills, which was very cool.
Although I have fairly good downhill cross country skills I didn't trust my skate skis when it came to the massive downhill section we ended up at. Ironically it was the same big hill that I said I wasn't going to go up at the beginning of our day. I think I was tricked! I started to go down, but then couldn't get an edge and got nervous so I did what any egomaniac wouldn't do, I took off my skis and walked down to a section that wasn't as vertical. Then I skied the rest of the way down. Meh, sometimes you gotta be a wimp!
At 11:30 I bid the boys adieu so they could get going on a more challenging adventure and I met up with my ski instructor. Unfortunately for me he was a rather serious young man. So not much for me cracking jokes. Luckily the other woman in my 'class' did have a sense of humour so we joked while he wasn't within earshot.
It was the usual joking that people do in order to get over the fact they truly suck at whatever thing they are attempting. At least at that moment...cause you know you will likely figure it out sooner or later.
As it turns out the 1.5 hours of skiing I had prior to my lesson did help me out and with a few pointers and trials I was able to ski better. I will not be trying out for the next Olympic skate ski team, but I think I might just have a chance at a good ski the next time I go out. At least I managed to go up the hills more efficiently - for which my arms thank me.
By the end of the class I was in desperate need for food, hot cocoa and to take off my skis. My legs were definitely done. The boys were done for the day as well, so we brought back our rentals and headed for some grub. If you are at Cypress for skiing, or for the Olympics as some events will be there, I highly recommend the Lodge. The food was great and fairly reasonable considering the location.
Oh, I have also decided that my professional skate ski name will be Friskie Pudding. The name came about because my rental skis had a rental number written on them, along with the name 'Friskie'. Lance's skis had 'Bootylicious' on them. Personally, I am thinking that is a more fitting name, but hey, as the Stones said, 'You can't always get what you want'. Oh, the Pudding part came from our ski passes. The word Pudding was on them...no idea why.
Some photos from our fun day (for all those in freezing, icky locations right now you will notice it was all blue sky and sunshine....oh and 5C....I love it here!).
Figure A: There was very low cloud coverage that day, so up on the mountain you couldn't see much of Vancouver. This was just before the boys descended down the hill. (Actually they went down a bit, then I called them back because I'm mean and so I could take a photo as it looked like they were about to ski on the clouds.
Figure B: Me and the boys, that's Don on the left and Lance on the right. Actually, Lance's real name is Andrew, but we call him Lance. Long story, but a good one! They'd already put their gear away as they waited for me to be done my lesson. Note that we are squinting because it was so SUNNY! (and warm!)
Figure E: Just call me Friskie Pudding...the next skate ski world champion...I have the look down, now I just need to be able to ski.
Figure F: This is what happens when you leave your camera with your friends, while you ski. Oh, and Don, this is what happens when you leave your photo on the camera of your friend who writes a blog. Tee hee. Who loves ya buddy?!
Peace out my lovely friends!