I wasn’t going to let 2016 end without doing something fun, so I decided to finally go take that cross country ski lesson I have been wanted to do on New Years Eve.
Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks was my choice, because, it was close, seemed pretty reasonably priced, and well, they had snow with open trails. The nordic ski area is located at their North Creek Ski Bowl, a second base camp that is typically not as crowded.
A little nervous, because I had never gone this before, the woman at the window taking my payment and getting me ready, was absolutely the sweetest and made me feel very comfortable, especially since this was a solo adventure and I felt a little weird doing it alone.
She introduced me to my instructor, Dom, short for Dominick. His energy, good personality and friendliness put me right at ease. After fitting me with boots and skis, we headed out.
I was a little intimidated, and very afraid of falling. The only time other time I have been on skis, it was a disaster. This, thankfully, was not. Another instructor joined us, as well, and having them both there – one to explain what I needed to do, and the other evaluating what I was doing – was very helpful.
We started off without poles and I was surprised at how far they took me on the trail, including up and down small hills. Even when I freaked out a bit – like going down the hill – they were there to help me and taught me how the necessary skills to make it an enjoyable experience.
Being afraid of going downhill, quickly became my favorite part. The wind against my face and the slight speed was so much fun, but less scary than the first time I ever tried downhill skiing. The thing I couldn’t get a grasp of too well was using the poles. Except when I was looking to extend my speed, I had a hard time with the poles when just regularly skiing. I guess it will take some practice.
Less than halfway through my lesson, my feet were hurting, and Dom took the time to take me back in and resize me. Once we found the perfect fit, we hit the trails again learning new techniques.
After my lesson, I warmed up inside with a cup of coffee and then took back out to the trails sans an instructor. I’m not going to lie, it was a little nerve-racking at first, mostly because my anxiety can get the best of me and I get nervous really fast.
Every time this happened, I just kept on going, unlike in the past where I would give up and walk away from whatever it was. I’m glad I didn’t, because I learned that I really liked cross country skiing and I’m not sure why I didn’t try it earlier.
It’s a great workout, a great way to see different areas and you can do it solo. While I don’t be skiing high peaks just yet, I am interested in pursuing this winter sport more.