I went XC skiing today. I actually went for the first time all year last night. It was beautiful with the snow covered trees and the silence of the woods. A few hairy moments on the hills when I fell out of the tracks that were pre-formed and blazed my own trail. Not recommended, by the way.
So today I went out determined to do more and get a real workout. As I set out with great zeal, life was good. I had my new Ipod going, the trails were fast (and visible), and I felt invincible. I passed a couple and a family trying to look like the Olympian I never was.
Now I thought I had a decent understanding of the trail system at Minooka Park. It's a County park near us and while it is impossible to get lost, it seems they've added a few miles of trail since I last skiied it. I kept taking the "long" trail because, as I mentioned, I was invincible. Well, as time wore on and I began to tire, I thought "Hmmm...where am I anyways?" I took a path that I thought led to the sledding hill, a good point of reference for me. It turned out to be a forked path going either much farther than I wanted, or to a snowshoe path.
By now I'm thinking "OK, I want to be done now. I'm tired and hot." A few more twists and turns, and a stop at a path map that told me what I did not want to know and I began to hate XC skiing. In fact I hated skiing, winter, my Ipod and county parks. I began to see the headlines taking shape in my head: "County employee dies of exhaustion and exposure in County Park." I knew I should have brought a flare gun instead of an Ipod. Then I schemed up a million dollar plan for when I was rescued. I would invent an Ipod that is GPS enabled. No one's thought of that yet, right? Either that or an Ipod that shoots flares. It'd be a bit bulky, but hey, can you really put a price on a life?
So anyhow, I end up making my way back the trail I had gone down in hopes of finding a quicker way home. I passed a few folks in the dog exercise area who looked as though they'd never seen a cross country skier before. Never mind that there were no trails near the dog area, that was beside the point. I was just glad to see people. "Hey is that a Labradoodle?" I'd say to deflect them from knowing that I was having a near death experience. It's all about appearances, right?
Eventually I made it back to my van, which I promptly kissed. During my adventure I thought "That's it, I'm done skiing for this year." It's likely that I'll go out tomorrow though, because I like to punish myself. I'll go right after I file my patent for the Ipod Flare Gun.