Snow Naps

ski trail with snowy trees in the background

Finally getting some snow, and so getting out cross country skiing. The last year seemed like a slow progress of debilitation with my hip, but now I’m back to feeling near 100% again after getting the shot for my hip flexor. Now to get back into pre-hip problem shape.

My effing sciatic has been changing, too. Used to be I’d have a tightness in my butt, and could lay on a hard flat surface for a couple minutes and it would go away for the day. Now, it may work in the morning, but on the drive to ski it comes back sitting in the car. So then a lay down before I put my skis on, and then another lay down during the ski tour. It was bugging me to have to go through all these steps at the start to deal with the sciatic, but now just another part of getting older and staying active. And I have to say, I’m starting to look forward to the snow naps.

Especially on a day like today. I was on the lower loop at Eagle Crest, and the only skier on the trail. There was 6 inches of fresh snow on the ungroomed trail. The clouds started to break up, with  sun and blue sky peaking through. Yesterday, it was a 2.5 mile slog through slush on Mendenhall Lake in the fog, snow and rain. Not much fun, but I’m always grateful for a ski.

Today was a slog, too, but an enjoyable one. I got less than a half mile or so down the trail and the sciatic kicked in. The new nordic-step bindings I got that allow me to use my own boots with my skis are easy to get in and out of, now that I’ve got lots of practice with them. I feared my days of skiing might get limited when no one was selling size 16 cross country ski boots anymore, but these new bindings that I put on my own boots have given me renewed hope.

I kicked off the skis and laid down in the sunshine under a big bull pine. The cold felt good on my butt where the sciatic is causing problems. After a couple of minutes, the pain was gone and I felt refreshed. The sciatic never kicked in again for the rest of the tour.

I have to take more breathers now trying to get back into shape. But maybe I see more this way, too. The ungroomed powder told the stories of who was in the neighborhood. A good-sized deer is living around the ski trail. I heard the unmistakable sound of a ptarmigan flush in the brush, but didn’t get a look at it. A big bunny crossed the trail not too long ago, as well.  Feeling 59 and older some days, but it’s okay.

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