...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Caught in the act, as usual

That's me, tumbling on flat ground on my first cross-country skiing attempt in January 2006. I probably fell about a dozen times. I didn't know how to bike then yet either, so presumably it was something about me and keeping balance:

Skiing, I found out eventually, was actually very similar to doing kendo suriyashi, except that you have to take longer slides, and do it on snow. Or maybe it's rather like having to do suriyashi with two very long, flat and inflexible feet, on an oil-covered floor. Sometimes it just felt like my leg just want to slide forward ahead of me – or sometimes even sideways – threatening to make me do an unglamorous split (there was a lot of inner-leg pain afterwards though!). Trying to get up from a fall when one couldn't use ankles for leverage was also something I needed to learn, as you can see from this series of photos taken last year. I was trying to go down a, umm, "slope":

Heh heh.

That year, my falls on flat ground reduced to, well, about three. Maybe it partly depended on that I already knew how to ride a bike and to therefore was able to keep better balance. On slight uphills though, there was still another challenge on how to keep myself from sliding back. Even the slightest of inclines are markedly more difficult to negotiate than flat ground when you have flat feet as long as tables, which protrude in both directions. That fact also makes it more difficult to say, turn back to where you came from. When you move one foot to the side, the other ski just keeps on getting the way of the other, like stepping on yourself accidentally on the heel.

When we went skiing again yesterday though, I made a record of not falling on flat ground but was still caught in the act falling on the same "bump" as last year. (It was a sure bet that I would fall here):

I almost like the pictures where I fall better than the pictures of skiing in action, actually!

We did practice skiing on a longer, more inclined downhill though – where one of the tasks was also to avoid crashing into an apple tree on the way down. I actually managed, after a dozen or so falls there, to make it to the bottom safe and sound! The sudden sensation of speed was a bit scary, and my impulse was to pull my body backwards, causing me to fall in the beginning. I also was paranoid that my legs would rip apart, since the skis could pull away from each other if you don't keep your feet together. In the end, I got to the bottom successfully about three times in a row (just to make sure it wasn't just by luck)! Strangely, I also discovered that if you relax and just let yourself fall downwards, it isn't as fast as it first seemed anymore. Afterwards, I had to make it back up the small hill in a herring-bone pattern without tumbling backwards, and it was all a success!

Well, now I need to learn how to turn. Tee hee!


Blogger aka Cheryl said...

that sounds like a lot of fun -- and a lot of sore muscles! amazing talaga, andami mong new experiences. nakakainggit. :)

1:08 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Look who's talking! You would have traveled to four --or is it five?-- Asian countries in 6 months by Friday!

I have a blog entry dedicated to you, on winter dressing. But since I've been posting a lot this week, I will save it a day before your flight. After all, you already got your winter gear, according to your recent blog entry ;-)

1:37 PM

Blogger aka Cheryl said...

subra ka naman. 4 in 8 months :) mukha lang marami, hehe.

aw, an entry dedicated to me! i'll read it even if it's a day before my flight. :D sana talaga my clothing is enough!

11:38 AM

Blogger Christianne said...

Congrats!!! I wanna try too but would probably fall too many times... kawawa naman butt ko, baka mapudpod sa kaka-land ko sa kanya hehe

4:27 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Hahaha! Yeah, butt pain, side pain, leg pain, even some arm pain. Siguro nga napudpod yung pwet ko, kaya siguro flat. Haha!

6:00 PM


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