Monday, 3 December 2012

Ski premier and holiday cheer (or absence thereof)

Last night J and I packed our skis into the car and drove up to Vitberget's camping area. I'm no skier, not really. I've gone Nordic skiing a couple of times, which, truth be told, mostly meant me rolling down slopes with my skis in the air. But since this is a fun activity despite the falls and great alternative training to running, and since J swears that no one ever broke their leg while Nordic skiing, I persevere. I even signed up for ski lessons, to learn how to do it properly.

But until the aforementioned lessons begin, I keep to Vitberget's artificial snow loop. Not even a kilometre long, this loop is flat as a pancake, which meant that I could ski in style without falling down all the time. Except for that little slope, which couldn't have been more than at a 10-15 degrees angle, which forced this particular fearless warrior to stop, leave the tracks and then slowly descend on the fluffy, non-slippery snow beside the tracks.

No, that's not the slope I'm referring to. That's the slalom slope. For those who can actually ski.

You may think I have a fear of falling. And you would be correct, if it were a real slope. No. In this case, my fear was of falling on this non-slope and thus making an arse of myself in front of the Skellefteå Ski Club members, who were standing not five metres from me, apparently for no other reason than to wait until I fall down and then make fun of me. So I walked down the slope on my skis, because that's not ridiculous at all.

Hey guys, don't mind me. I just get nausea from all the speed going downhill on that metre-long slope.

Then the ski club was gone and J and I were the only ones left but for a couple more guys. I waited until they were out of sight, positioned myself in the tracks at the top of the slope and carefully pushed my sticks backwards. The world around me became a blur as I swooshed down the slope, even managing to brake a little at the curve at the end where the ski tracks were broken, and then re-enter the tracks afterwards. This magnificent performance lasted two whole seconds.

I was satisfied. I was happy. I had done it. I had conquered that metre-long slope and I would do it again. Suddenly busting with energy I pushed so hard that my shoulders popped out of their sockets and went around the whole loop a little faster. I came back to the slope, and this time I didn't hesitate. I did it again. And then again. And then I fell on a flat patch further down the loop because I was so tired from the effort that I couldn't keep myself upright any more. We decided to call it a day after 6 very slow kilometres. It had gone really well.

With achy shoulders I walked around town today, trying to find a Christmas present for a very dear colleague of mine. Those of you who know me or have read the blog a longer time know that I really dislike the consumerism that permeates our society, especially at Christmas, so this might seem out of character. But although buying or getting presents isn't important to me, I know that it is important to her. And she really needs some holiday cheer these days.

Walking around the stores in town, it took me less than ten minutes to be overcome by exhaustion. The mental effort of trying to sort out the good from the bad, the guessing game of what she might like, the mere fact that I, an introvert, was trying to make small talk with the otherwise very nice lady at the store where I finally found the perfect gift, all left me drained. How can people spend hours, or even days looking for presents? No wonder everyone is so stressed this time of year.

Luckily I have plans for tonight, plans that entail more of the things that give energy. Interval training with Skellefteå AIK. It's been ages.


  1. Härligt att se hur du kommit in i de lokala traditionerna! :)

    1. Ja, jag är alltid öppen för roliga traditioner :)