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I seem to have a knack for changing horses midstream. Yet this has little to do with equestrian pursuits. This has more to do with my proclivity for jumping between activities before mastering or even achieving any semblance of proficiency. This is like taking the Buccaneer Approach to Language Learning. For instance, going to Mexico and speaking nothing but Spanish. The danger here is forgetting your English before learning Spanish. Trapping you in some sort of weird language netherworld. Long story short(ish), this is happening to me in my skiing pursuits.

On Thursday of last week, I was tempted by the Dark Side. As you may know, I’m attempting to learn to cross-country ski. The style of skiing I am learning is called skate skiing. Supposedly, it’s faster than traditional skiing, which is also called classic, Nordic, or when I can’t thing of the previous two terms; Fentoozling. To beat the language analogy to death, I resisted trying to learn both simultaneously as I was worried that it might be like learning Spanish for a couple of weeks, then trying to learn Swahili at the same time. Eventually, I thought I at least needed to give it a go. Taking advantage of the Master Ski Program Thursday classic lesson, I strapped on a pair of borrowed classic skis and tried my luck.

Huge difference. The learning curve for classic skiing was far easier for me. Mind you, my technique wasn’t pretty, but I was able to clomp about and propel myself forward reasonably well. This stems from the idea that classic skiing is pretty much running with skis on your feet. Oh, and the EPIC HILL BOUNDING described previously translated very well. The use of poles, too, in classic skiing seemed far more straightforward to me. I have built up very strong core and stomach muscles from months of laughing at myself trying to learn to ski. This made the crunching motion of double poling fast and easy. With brilliant early results, I was quickly enamored with the Dark Side. After two days of classic skiing, I timed myself on the Beaver Trail. I had done this with skate skiing, as it is the very hill that Coach Kjell witnessed my spectacular falls. It’s pretty much straight downhill then straight uphill. Twice before I had timed myself on skate skis and consistently finished around the six minutes mark. This was after three weeks of skate skiing. On the second day of classic, I finished in six minutes. As fast as the supposedly faster skating. The next night I finished in five. So, either I’m terrible skate skier, or a supernaturally gifted classic skier. Obviously the latter is the case, right? RIGHT? Anyway, I need to improve my technique on both methods, but especially skating.

See you on the trails, I’ll be the one Fentoozling.


2 Responses to “Classic/Nordic/Fentoozling”

  1.   Adam Reimer Says:

    Awesome, I love Fentoozling too. Can’t say i’m as naturally gifted as you are!

  2.   Webmaster Mike Says:

    Adam, I promise to use my Fentoozling Powers for good, not evil.

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