Fine tuning for the season. We've been skiing three times so far this season, just enough to figure out what the weaknesses are versus the strengths. My personal analysis – pretty good strength in the legs, poor flexibility. Felt it in the hips especially. Biking will do that – it's the strength and weakness of the sport. We're in a slight Indian Summer pattern now, so it's time to hone things in. Morning sessions with Stella are on foot, with ski poles, mimicking the stride of skinning, going quick on the hills to the point of maximum effort, and then dropping into a two minute tuck as the legs are streaming with lactic acid. Glide the flats and downhills, visualizing a nordic course. Toss in some sit-ups and some lunges. Finish with a long stretching session. It's hard, and it feels good. Even better are mornings like today, when it's 26 degrees at sunrise, and the tall grasses are frosted white and the lake is covered with a three foot high cloak of steam. Through the cloak, a family of ducks swimming around, on an ethereal body of water surrounded by a sea of pine trees. Is getting ready for the season as fun as ripping down a perfect slope of powder, or a morning loop on Zarlego as the snow falls fresh? Well, no. But it's darn near close.
Elaine and I were talking about the election last night, specifically the Open Space tax. We were reading an article, and comment after comment either:
A) Whined about how mountain bikers, hikers and runners don't have enough access, or;
B) Whined about how a $0.15 tax on a $100 purchase was too much for Open Space.
Without any prompting, Elaine said…"$0.15 is nothing, and why can't we have places where humans just don't go and just leave the animals alone. Why is it always about what we want?" I don't talk too much about issues like these…it used to my job and I've spent waaay too many days in this world. I actually quit working at IMBA for this very reason. It seemed like mountain bike trail access was a selfish endeavor in the big scheme of things. But I smiled when I heard her say this, and said she should post her opinions on the web. Which she did. And of course by doing so she will get the inevitable criticism, but I also think it's good to just put your voice out there and let it stand as is.
It does emphasize the point…why can't we just have places where people say out of. Robinson Jeffers has a quote: "I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk." I agree, yesterday, today and tomorrow.