Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ski kurs

Peter and Anna had their first ski class Saturday, and so in our typical last-minute manner, on Friday I picked up our ski equipment from storage where it's been living quietly for 2 years in a friend's basement. We are in luck: Maggie's old skis and boots fit Peter and Peter's old skis and boots fit Anna. They were too excited to wait, and had to try them out in the backyard. They spent most of the time falling over.

Later, Maggie got back from a school dance in a very good mood.

Saturday was ski day! I followed some friends up into the hills of eastern Trondheim. Our city is surrounded by a vast network of ski trails and it only takes a few minutes to be out in nature. You are encouraged to use free parking at the base of the hills and take a bus, 30 kr. for the whole family. Instead, we drive to a parking area very close to the ski lessons, but have to pay 50 kr. for the parking. It seems expensive, but I suppose it encourages many people to park below and take the bus, preventing overcrowded on weekends like this.

We put on our equipment, the kids with excitement and me with a little bit of dread. I had only been skiing twice before, once two years ago on solid ice, and another time maybe 10 years ago. I had psyched myself up for some pain. Good thing, too, because I'd get plenty.

 We headed up to the course area. There were 24 groups of 8 kids each assembling. The area was well organized -- Trondheim ski klub seems to have this course down to a science.

Many of our friends' kids are in the classes too, so us grown-ups went on our own ski tour. I kept up just fine, but we soon came to a big big slope down. I stepped to the side and looked at it thinking "you've got to be kidding." Meanwhile children are zipping down, senior citizens zipping by, even a lady pulling a baby in a polk (a sled-trailer thing that attaches to one's waist) vee-ed her way down the steep hill in perfect control. Finally I went, 5 seconds of sheer terror followed by the first of many spectacular wipeouts during the day.

In any case, I survived. Afterwards we grilled hotdogs in a warm-up hut, drank hot cocoa and roasted marshmallows. The kids loved their lessons and their first experiences on skis. Anna even described the class as "the best ski lesson I ever had!" Which is undisputably true.

Tonight I am pain, and know that the only cure is to go again tomorrow.

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