Well, when I say everything hurts, my eyelids are fine. And my left earlobe, that’s not too bad either, though my right one is throbbing a bit. But everything else? Bloody agony.
Cross country skiers have god-like bodies, slim, elegant movers and as fit as a butcher’s dog. That wasn’t my sole reason for signing up for a three-day course, but I have to confess it was at the back of my mind and I have already ordered clothes two sizes smaller, just in case.
We found ourselves with six other like-minded debutants and two of these god-like creatures who were tasked with transforming us into maybe not skiing gods, but hopefully minor deities. Very minor deities.
I’m a reasonable downhill skier, falls are usually in the single figures, by the second day at least. I was lulled into a false sense of security as I put on the comfortable boots, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a martyr to my feet. But then came the skis, long, thin, light and no edges. I immediately fell over, it wasn’t the last time that day, or even that hour.
Oh my goodness it was tough going. The only progress is under your own ski power, no lifts, tows or satisfying long carves down corduroy pistes. Just hard physical work.
I used muscles I didn’t know I had, my legs stretched further than they’ve ever stretched before and I am very bendy. After day one, I ached, day two and I couldn’t walk up the stairs, day three and I crawled up the stairs, it took a while.
No pain, no gain, and I gained a lot. I learned to move on horizontal-ish snow, gliding and falling less and less until the tally was in single figures, thanks to our cross country skiing gods, Richard and Emma.
Now it’s back to the downhill stuff for the next few days, just to make sure the aching continues, different aches in different places, but at least my eyelids are fine.