This weekend, we drove north west to the ski resort, Levi, where I got to try my hand at cross country skiing. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know that this sport existed until I visited Levi in February of 2012 for a downhill skiing holiday. It is defined by Wikipedia like this: Cross-country skiing (or XC skiing) is a form of ski touring in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles.
Before we headed out, we got kitted out. I did know the skis were different, but so were the boots too. The boots are much more akin to regular shoes and attach to the skis at the toe only, whilst the skis are much slimmer than downhill skis. The poles…they have always been my security blanket in downhill skiing!
I then received a crash course from my friend. It went a little like this...”left then right”…”use your poles”…”left foot, right pole”… and we were off!
It was all about getting in a rhythm! We followed a prepared trail as we were using the classic / traditional style of cross country skiing; parallel groves were already cut into the snow for us to follow. In no time at all, I was sweating. The classic technique uses every major muscle group in the body as with running, rowing and swimming! The first trail we took was 3km; there was a mix of terrain; flat, some small uphill sections and what goes up must come down, so a few downhill areas! We then completed 2km of the second trail; by which time I was feeling the effects of this workout! I had to stop a few times in the last 2km to catch my breath and rest my legs! There was a stunning view to keep me occupied anyway…snow, sunshine and scenery…
With 5km under my belt, I had worked up an appetite too! We brought along some sausages which we cooked on an open fire located in a hut next to the trail! …lathered in mustard (a Finnish sort which tastes so different to English / French) that I love!…oh and mustard is a much more waist friendly option than tomato ketchup and other condiments!
I’m so happy I have come to love outdoor workouts! A year ago, I would never choose to go outside over indoors…now I appreciate the fresh air, the scenery and the freedom…Set your workouts free 😉 …I also firmly believe that “exercise” is more enjoyable when it’s a part of your lifestyle…it shouldn’t be a chore 🙂
How do you keep your workouts fresh?! What did you get up to at the weekend to stay active?!