All These Bruises: Nordic Edition
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All These Bruises: Nordic Edition

Why I love Nordic skiing, and why you should too.

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All These Bruises: Nordic Edition
The Dark Room

With every letter I type requiring me to stretch out my right pinkie, I feel a twinge of pain. Every time I go from sitting to standing, or vice versa, my knees cry out. I have bruises under my bruises. Why would I willingly put myself through such bodily harm? To ski. And not just any skiing, but Nordic skiing.

Every few years or so, I have been learning a new sport. I guess I’m addicted. First, there was soccer. That was eight years of getting hit in the head, being too shy to go for goals, and rarely talking to my teammates. Then, I mixed in softball for a few seasons. I became a catcher because I was too afraid of catching balls hit at me. Yes, I realize the irony. That didn’t last long. All throughout, I had been playing badminton in the street with my dad, hitting birdies back and forth until the sun went down or the wind became too strong. I had been learning how to swim, although I tolerated the water at most. When I was finally allowed to go to sleep-away camp, I quickly progressed through the archery and riflery ranks. In the winter months I took (downhill) skiing lessons (yes, the clarity is needed in my case) and even snowboarded for a few weeks. I can ice skate, though I can’t do fancy tricks. When 7th grade rolled around I decided I wanted to try martial arts. When 9th grade rolled around I joined the cross country team, then indoor track, then outdoor track. I have shotput and thrown the javelin in meets. I ran nearly every event except for hurdles; the one time I tried to hurdle I ended up falling directly on my knee and the scar is still very prominent today.

This is not to mention the brief moments that I did kid gymnastics and karate for a few months at best, long before I committed to taekwondo. I can waterski, but I can’t do a cartwheel anymore. All the soccer skills and cool kicks I learned in middle and high school are buried in the recesses of my muscle memory.

Before I got to college, I decided to join the rowing team. Now, one and a half years later, I am on the Nordic ski team. I can’t Nordic ski. Well, I’m getting there. But, I’ve learned enough to say that it is unlike anything I’ve ever done before.

I’ll start with skate, or freestyle skiing, as it’s more commonly known. It’s like ice skating but with really, really long feet. This is the style where I know I can survive when I will race it. The weird part of freestyle is that you have to do something called double poling, and sometimes it’s every other stride, sometimes not. And sometimes you apply pressure when you kick off, and sometimes you apply pressure after and you just glide on one foot for a bit, just chilling there. Not easy let me tell you.

The other one is classic skiing. This is the one that looks easy and is actually wicked, wicked hard to master. Sure, anyone can “walk” on these skis. Running is much, much harder. Running uphill is even harder still. Gravity is a really cruel nemesis of anyone learning to classic competitively for the first time. I’m still in the walking/hopping stage. Who knew soccer would be so useful all these years later? Not I. To be fair, though, I’ve only had one lesson. Waxing these skis is a whole ‘nother sport in itself.

I am having the time of my life. I get one-on-one coaching from the best girl in the business this side of the Atlantic. I fall often, and hard, but it’s worth it when the fog is hovering over the pond and the snow is glistening in the sunlight. It’s worth it when I come home bruised and battered, because I went out there and I tried something new and I got better. Opportunities like this don’t come around very often, so when they do, ski on it. Remember, hips forward, arms close, and step, step, step.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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