Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cross Country 101

Cross Country Skiing is a sport the whole family can enjoy and spring is the perfect time to go. There is still plenty of snow in the mountains, but the trails are less crowded and the weather is usually good.
 Anyone can cross country ski. I've seen three year-olds and ninety year-olds on the slope. And it's never too late to be a beginner. When my daughter and I went for the first time last year, she caught on much faster than I did. My biggest problem was stopping without falling. She lapped me on the loop we were skiing. I did catch on eventually though. You can teach an old mom new tricks!
 There are resorts with groomed cross country trails, there are also groomed trails in many national forests. Some public golf courses also allow cross-country skiing in the winter.
 The basic things to remember are keep your knees and ankles bent and keep your weight forward. Stop using the snowplow or pizza method, just don't get your skiis crossed. When you fall down, which for me is inevitable, turn your skis so you’re sideways to the slope, kneel on your skis and using your hands on your thighs stand up one knee first, and then the other.
 To turn yourself on cross-country skis, move each ski a little at a time toward the direction you want to go. You’ll make a “star pattern” in the snow.
 Going forward on cross country skis is the easy part. The boot heel is not attached to the ski, so basically you’re just half step, half sliding forward.
 Cross country skiing is a great activity for kids. It gets them outside enjoying nature, its good exercise, and something the whole family can enjoy.

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