Me, spilling out all my thoughts, inner and outer, on just about anything! Lots of poetry, short stories from past experiences, anecdotes about teaching elementary school, music, relationships....garage sale type thing...Something For Everyone!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Racing on Snow!




It's a tough climb up on cross-country skis and at -44 Celsius with wind chill, it's not any easier. Why do these crazed athletes do this to themselves?

My husband has been training four times a week to get his body ready for the upcoming cross-country ski races. We had a slow start to the season so it will be interesting to see how fit everyone else is. There are 2 distinctly different types of ski races; classic and skating.

The classical type of skiing is the one most people are used to seeing and uses a diagonal stride. It involves hours and hours of waxing! This process has to take into account the length of race, the snow temperature and the air temperature. There is grip wax near where your feet are, and glide wax everywhere else. It is extremely high tech and all the Olympic skiers have technicians to do this for them. You can bet that wax is very expensive when you're talking race calibre! My husband has no technicians and has been known to spend 12 hours waxing for a one hour race! The man is a fanatic, but a very patient one!

The ski-skating type of racing which you see my husband demonstrating in the above pictures, (unbeknownst to him!) is so graceful to watch. It looks as though he is magically and effortlessly floating along the surface of the snow! Sometimes he doesn't use the poles and just puts both hands behind his back! This looks amazing to me since I never mastered this style of skiing and was never a strong ice skater. You don't need to wax quite so much for skate-skiing.

The races he's done in both categories are 15k, 25k, 30k, and 55k. He's done the World Masters in Banff , Thunder Bay, and Lake Placid and has placed as high as Silver in his age group. He works so hard at fitness, I think he deserves to get great results. When a few of his patients asked him how he did when he won Bronze one year, he modestly mumbled through his beard something that resembled, "Okay." He's a Gold in my book!

Mother of Invention, thinking he looks just like one of those explorers returning from the South Pole in National Geographic!

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28 Comments:

Blogger Diana said...

I had no idea there was such a science and a time commitment to waxing one's skis!

Good luck to your athlete!

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger meno said...

That is impressive. I've never heard of that sport before. I love the ice beard. Brrrr.

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger steve said...

If I won a Bronze you wouldn't be able to shut me up...I should really try to be a little more modest...

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger Stephen Newton said...

Mother, thanks so much for stopping and saying, Hi. It sounds like things are much saner in Canada. Here in Appalachia, amidst the beauty of the mountains, we have many, many hazardous companies that have been polluting the air, water and land for decades. Our corporations love the rural countrysides. Out here in the boonies, there's less regulation and people are grateful for the jobs, even it kills them.

Is that you singing?

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger LynClay said...

That is awesome about your husband's ski racing! I've only been on skis one time in my life but it was soo fun!

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger Teri said...

What fun! I used to love cross country skiing - thanks to global warming hasn't been enough snow here to do it much lately.

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Diana: Neither did I! I wouldn't have the patience...he waxes my skis when I go.

Meno: Not many see the ski-skating. He has actual icicles frozen in his beard sometimes!

Steve: Me too! No wait, you'd be louder!

Stephen: You're welcome. I had no idea all that went on beneath the beautiful surface. Probably a lot more goes on too that we don't know about...and in Canada too.

Yes, it is my first song I wrote and recorded.

Lynclay: You'd love it. It gets you outside in winter and takes you on some scenic trails.

Teri: Too bad there's been no snow. You sound very athletic! Our season didn't really start until Jan. and it's been melting recently.

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger Jocelyn said...

So there's still some ski season left in Ontario? Ours is closing up now here in northern Minnesota.

At the last Olympics, the Norwegian team's wax specialists made the wrong call on a big race day, and man, were there some pissed off Norwegian skiiers out there. They almost yelled, even. But, being Norwegian, they just acted peeved with great reserve.

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger fennymun said...

Hi, thanks for sharing the info about ski racing. It sounds amazing that your husband has devoted much time in preparing for it. I have never ski before but after our recent short visit to a snowy mountain in Japan, we would definitely try out if we have a chance in the future.

Monday, March 12, 2007

 
Blogger Lynn said...

I am always in awe of folks that can do things like this. I have only been a hack at skiing, and I appreciate everyone who can do stuff like this.
It feels neat to know of someone that competes on National and World level at anything!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Blogger gr said...

Wow! and thank you for the pics...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Jocelyn: Well, the snow is melting but in ski country, there's still plenty on the trails in the woods.

Yes, I remember that! It made my husband feel a whole lot better about the times he's screwed it up!

Fennymun: You must try it sometime in your life! You would be thrilled!

Lynn: Yeah, I'm in awe too! I used to ski but only did 6 k with him, then I'd go into the lodge and he'd head out for 25 more for a REAL ski!

GR: Yeah, in the bottom pic you can see "snotsicles if you look hard!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Anonymous Coll said...

Wow.. such self discipline. I find this very impressive.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Anonymous colleen said...

Well at least you have snow for those poles!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Blogger Barbara said...

Good luck to your David. Go cheer hard for him!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Blogger Teri said...

I USED to be athletic. A long, long time ago. Now I'm only sort of active.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Anonymous David said...

Your husband is most impressive. Having tried cross country skiing many years ago, I know you have to be in really good shape to do this - especially the distances he's covering. But, 12 hours of waxing. Bit over the top for me. I wish him the best in all his competitions.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Blogger Richard said...

When I had a beard, I found crusting ice on it strangely satisfying.

Hmmm ... I can't think of an activity where I prep 12 hours for 1 hour. Actually, I can't think of any activity I prep for more than a few minutes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Coll: It takes a lot of that for sure and a lot of time training.

Colleen: We still have in the woods in ski areas but in my town so much has melted with the recent mild spell.

Barbara: Thanks! I'm his best fan unless it's frigid out...then I only come out of the chalet when I think he's due to ski by.

Teri: Well, at least you have the ability and just some of it is dormant. Wish I had that!

David: I know exactly what you mean but I guess those guys work so many hours in training, it's worth it to get the wax right. It makes a huge difference. I'm not that patient...I'd just slap it n. He is in fabulous shape and has dropped weight because he's not eating enough to balance out the output of energy from skiing. It happens every winter. Cross-country skking is supposed to be the best exercise there is.

Richard: I do everything fast too. I don't really care what things look like or if it's just an okay job...my husband can be a wee bit of a perfectionist!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

 
Blogger TorAa said...

This was fun, to read about the different cross country ski-technics. And they are really different to master. The skating technics need more traing. I can't go ski-skating fore more than a couple of hundred meters, as my wrists are not trained for it.

And the diagonal, on modern skis without waxing, is impossible. Anna and I tried last season without any waxing at all. 125 meter, off with the skis, and returned home.

Your hubby is impressing. But doing cross country that cold, should be avoided. Competitions here will be cancelled if colder than minus 30 centidegrees.

=^.^=

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

 
Blogger Dave said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by the other day. I was a bit slow getting back to you.

The cross-country skiing isn't so good here in Arkansas but I must give it a try on my next trip to Canada, whenever that happens. I don't know about skiing 55km though... Your husband must have legs of steel! I think an hour of waxing and two or three miles of skiing and I'll be ready for a beer.

Cheers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Toraa: I tried the waxless skis a few times but they're only good below 0...otherwise they slip and I hate that Klister wax!

Dave: I'm with you! We can drink a beer while he goes on his 2nd loop! (His muscles are pretty much steel and he's a lot skinnier in the winter!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

 
Blogger RennyBA said...

Woow, your husband is really like a ski athlete and how well he is to do both discipline. He should have been in Lillehammer, Norway this weekend to participate in the 54 Km mountain race:
http://www.birkebeiner.no/renn_eng/

Friday, March 16, 2007

 
Blogger Old Lady said...

That was sweet, his being Gold in your book. I like that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Renny: Believe me, he would have loved that! Maybe when he retires and is doing the ski circuit!

Old Lady: He is such a pure gold...not even gold-plated!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

 
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Renny: Believe me, he would have loved that! Maybe when he retires and is doing the ski circuit!

Old Lady: He is such a pure gold...not even gold-plated!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

 
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