Nordic Ski Races

Last week I found myself in Ketchum, Idaho visiting my grandkids—an out doors playground for the rich, famous, and very fit!  A highlight of the trip was trudging out to an immense field of snowy mountains to watch the Nordic Ski races. Some three hundred very fit and very young skiers had flown in from all over the world to compete for 4 days in this winter wonderland. It was thrilling to be close up and personal with Olympians and others working their way toward such accomplishment.

For a while it was exciting to watch event after event as these thin, trim, muscular men and women did their thing, each motion smooth and skilled, each stride seemingly effortless. It wasn’t until they crossed the finish line and collapsed, (literally!) that I realized what training and discipline it must take to be accomplished in this sport.

Eager to take it all in, I attempted to run from one trail to another to catch a glimpse of the front runners but alas, both the altitude (6500 feet) and my no longer youthful somewhat out of shape body inhibited me from seeing much. I found myself wishing I had had an individual sport when I was young—that I would have cared more about conditioning and athletics, both of which would have come in handy with the onslaught of aging.

As I watched the awards being handed out and the beaming faces standing before me on the podium, I vowed to begin once again and give my body the attention it deserves. I bought myself a pedometer—10,000 steps a day, they say, will not only jump start one’s metabolism but keep the doctor away.

Try walking that far—it’s actually fun competing against yourself.

11 thoughts on “Nordic Ski Races

  1. I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved
    every little bit of it. I have you book-marked to look at new
    posts…

  2. Joan,
    I have found that I stick to my walking routine best when I train for an event. I have walked in 4 half marathons over the last couple of years. The Rock ‘N’ Roll marathon series (benefiting the American Cancer Society) are all over the country, fun, well run events, and are open to walkers. There is a band playing at every mile marker. I follow a 14 week training program that I found on line. You are able to joing my walking buddy and I at the event in Chicago this year on August 14th. We start our training on May 9th. We walk the 13 miles in about 3 hours. Our goal each year is to finish! It is the training that makes it all worth while!
    Good Luck!

  3. Joan,
    It is not about winning the race, it’s about finishing. I am a runner, cyclist, kayaker, and swimmer. I have entered many marathons, triathlons and now shorter races just to compete against myself. Age has a way of bringing on self-realization, I am not as fast as I was, the difference I don’t have to be. I only have to make myself feel good at the end in mind and spirit, because my body will heal!
    Thank you coming to Rockford, it was so great to meet you. Looking forward to seeing you again.
    Always moving forward my friend,

  4. Joan

    Just curious, how is you knee replacement doing? Has that held you back at all?
    Seems like you are always on the “move”, good for you!

    Smiles,
    Shannon

  5. It is never too late to start. I know 50 somethings who have just started running and become triathletes. I have been exercising daily since my 20s but it is the highlight of my day and my schedule fits around my daily workouts, 4 mile walk and Jazzercise and yoga classes. Right now I am loving the Physique 57 DVDs. Good luck finding what gives you energy and excites you.

  6. I also appreciated this story and know I need to increase my exercise. I walk on the treadmill about 30 minutes at a slow pace and do this nearly daily. Somedays even 30 minutes is challenging to me, however I have been doing some type of ‘movement’ since my young adulthood.

  7. Ah…. I can so relate to needing (and wanting) to get my aging body back in shape. I too bought a new pedometer about a month ago for the same 10,000 steps/day goal. I bought it just before we took a trip to Europe to visit our son who is studying abroad this year. I found it fascinating to see the number of steps we took each day while filled with the excitement of travel and new sites. Our days ranged between 15,000 to over 20,000. Message to me was that 10,000 steps is possible for me…. I just need to get into a new habit to do the walking in my everyday surroundings more.

    Good luck to you in your new goal as well.

  8. Joan! Where have you and your books been all my life? Waiting for me to wake up in my own midlife I’m sure! I try to walk 10,000 steps each day – some days it’s simply one. step. at. a. time. It is more than synchronicity that today is my 49th birthday, yesterday I checked your book out from the library (had gone there for a completely different book) and today, I have signed up to see you in Rockford on the 16th! This gives me time to go buy your books and read them before I see you! I wrote my obituary for the first half of my life and my intentions for the next half. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being you!

  9. Renewed resolve…good for you, Joan.

    One of my favourite sections from your first book was the run you undertook dressed as Red Riding Hood. When I first read your book, I was in my early twenties, and hadn’t done exercise in years. I found the inspiration in your book (and also through Joan Erikson saying that she kept “well-oiled” through walking) to begin exercising, and haven’t stopped since (I turned thirty a few days ago).

    I have read the book probably eight times since then (I turn to it whenever I am having a life crisis of some sort, and need the comfort of your words along with a few hours spent under a blanket with a cup of tea and some dark chocolate), and it never fails to inspire me.

    Thank you for that, and good luck with your new inclination to exercise more 🙂

  10. As one who already this morning has been on the treadmill, weight machines and attended a body sculpt class I can tell you that exercise gives you more energy and is a great stress reliever. And as you know, I’m much older than you. If I can do it you can. It’ll be worth the effort.

  11. Way to go Joan! So right about competing against yourself – that’s what I do with running. If were competing with others I would have given up after the first race! Have fun with the new pedometer!!

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