Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Train Now, Ski Later

Slackline? I can't even balance on a plank.
Nothing compares to a ski day on the mountain, unless you can't get there. The fresh air. The sun or the chance of a snow shower and fresh tracks to be had. The workout without really trying--not exactly, but I can easily eat more and feel my looser in my jeans after skiing.

The only problem is that I can't walk out my front door with my skis in hand to take some runs before hitting my desk for the day (boy do I wish I could). And if I hopped in my car to spend a weekend in Vail, or Keystone considering it's a few miles closer, I'd be forced to turn around before buckling my boots because it'd be time to head home upon arrival--or there could be strong winds on Interstate 80 and I'd be stranded somewhere in Nebraska (that's a nightmare in itself). And my mountains? Well, around here we call them glorified garbage dumps (sorry Wisconsin and northwest Illinois, but you haven't convinced me to return yet). Yeah, it stings a little when you live 1,000 miles from your heaven on Earth, the Rockies, and the only snow you'll be seeing in the near future falls under the snow globe variety.

But I know that I'll be making it onto my skis eventually, it just takes a little longer than for others. I'm just giving the snow a chance to settle so I don't scratch my skis on a stray rock or branch (and sob about it later). I view it as more time to get in shape before I get there--Christmas cookies out of the system, training plan back on track (not counting this week), holiday distractions pushed to the backburner--so I'm not catching my breath every two seconds on a blue run the first day or cursing my husband for taking me on perfectly shaped moguls and feeling the after-effects when I'm buried in the gully and my ski is halfway up the mountain.

The usual treadmill, elliptical, spinning routine won't quite cut it this time around. Not that they aren't effective exercises--they are--but that my body has gotten used to their muscle stimulation, and I'm craving something else. I also know full well that there are certain aspects to my fitness that could use a little work like balancing and short cardio bursts. Examples: teetering up a plank at the Beach Palooza (and that was after a week of hiking) and quitting on myself when mountain climbers start to hurt too much. No wait, those were burpees.

Good news for me: I found solutions. Four of them. You can find them in the fitness section at, where I uncovered some off-mountain routines that have the potential to make skiing seem simpler when you do make it to the mountain. My proof? I was still standing after the Talons Challenge, but my partner in crime needed a breather. I'm crediting it to the ass-kicking I gave myself at boot camp before the trip.

I've already given my glutes a run for their money--too many squats, lunges and booty boosters. I might rush back to that routine if there's disaster on the slackline. Call it a lack of coordination and issues when balancing and moving have to work in tandem. But I'll quit my whining and save it for the workout. If I keep it up, the fitness no the whining, maybe I can arrive in snow country with my best ski boot forward. I'll at least try.

Photo grabbed from Jason Edward Scott Bain at flickr.

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