Sunday, December 23, 2007


After two winters complaining that an endless November merged into an equally eternal April, this year brought full mid-season snow conditions before winter even began. Although today a warmer storm brings the thing we want the least, much of the rest of the month felt like midwinter.

Skiing classical, new gains bring new pains. The weight shift from ski to ski is done through the hips. This requires a slight but necessary rotation to line up body weight without swinging the shoulders too far. As the glide ski hip drives through, the pelvis has to twist so that the supporting leg stays under the body mass while the rear ski can swing up and back. At the same time, as the legs go one way, the arms go the opposite way. As you drive one leg forward, you throw the opposite hand forward, which brings the shoulder forward slightly as well.

During the jerky puppet phase of the season, while the body tries to reconstruct all this micro coordination, the hips seem like a solid block and the shoulders want to rotate too far.

A couple of days ago, my hips suddenly broke loose the rust that had held them. Each stride instantly became more powerful, but all the supporting muscles burned out shortly afterwards. I don't remember what all of them are called, but I can point to them. Yoga probably uses them, but not while sliding along a slippery track through icy air. Anyway, if they hurt, just keep skiing until they come into form.

Having shaken loose the classical form, I skated yesterday, having not enjoyed a good groin pull in a while. It wasn't that bad, but skating uses some of the same supporting muscles as classical, some different ones and some in slightly different directions, so another complex composition of tweaks and aches plays out.

Because of the timing of the holidays, I will be working eighteen days with only Christmas Day off. And I'm late leaving the house right now. Slacker.

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