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Skate, Fentoozle – Skantoozle?

They didn’t know. They couldn’t possibly. Air movements in the upper atmosphere conspired, and had chosen their fate. The leader spoke, his eyes red from elemental exposure, eyes full of a lifetime of physical labor, beset by the sharp cold and biting wind.

“Today is the day. Let’s do Wolf.”

Their fate was sealed. The day could only end one way.

Fentoozling.

So, anyway, that’s how my¬†recollection of Thursday went. It had warmed up a touch. A lot, actually. Classic skiing afoot, our group did drills in the increasingly-squishy snow, thanks to the warming trend. The drills, mostly balance and glide drills, bolstered my confidence, but I wasn’t quite ready for the Wolf. Turns out I didn’t have a choice. After the lesson, I got wrangled into going on the Wolf by Coach Kjell. The Wolf is also known as the “Blue Course,” and I have no idea what that means. Perhaps it’s a similar convention to downhill skiing, where blue is intermediate, green is beginner, and black is difficult. The Wolf trail is decidedly intermediate. A good distance with many hills and turns, it is lengthy and challenging. But hey, I’d been classic skiing for a whole week, so I’d be good to go, right? And I was, surprisingly. I did have the added disadvantage of terrible technique. Whereas Kjell glides up and down the hills, I struggle and grunt. I know my borrowed skis are partly to blame, because he let me try his for a bit. I was actually able to pass him downhill with his skis. Unbelievable. But, I suppose if you make Usain Bolt wear shoes made out of depleted uranium, I might stand a chance to outrun him. After we completed the entire Wolf, we did a loop around the soccer field (football pitch, for my readers overseas) and then went to look for the other people in the class, who had gone in different directions. So, we went up Wolf backward. Not like moonwalking up, but just doing the course in reverse. We also did Beaver trail (my time trial favorite) backward, and then I staggered out back to the wax shed. In a brief time, I had more than doubled my cumulative distance on skis, and all in one swell foop.

At that point I felt remarkably confident about my fentoozling ability.

The weekend passed with a skiing hiatus.

And then Tuesday Skate Class happened.

To be continued.

 

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