Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's not a hobby if you post it on Facebook


Cross-country skiing is something that every Finn can do. And based on Facebook, quite many even like it. Skiing is good sports, it exercises all the muscles in your body - especially the face muscles, as you can't avoid grimaces while climbing up the hills.

Like all the sports, skiing is a matter of equipment. You need to choose your skis according the skiing style and your weight. Do not try to lie round down your weight, you'll be busted and end up having bad skis. The skis must be treated with special wax depending on the weather. The fastening mechanism of the skiing shoes must match with the mechanism on the skis - and naturally the mechanisms are not standardized. The poles need to be tall enough to reach your shoulder. You clothes shouldn't be too heavy, prefer layers instead of thickness. And as a final hint, take a handkerchief with you, your nose will run anyway.

Then where can you ski? Well, basically anywhere where there's snow, but ready made tracks will help a lot. If the tracks are forming some kind of a loop or circle, you usually need to ski the loop counterclockwise. And FYI for the people of Great Britain, we follow the right side traffic on skiing tracks. If there are hills on the way, you can be pretty sure that after a downhill there will be a curve. This is something that is very difficult to understand, even for a Finn: why do all the curves have to locate at the bottom of a hill? Your skis will carry straight on while the track is turning. Sure you can lift your feet and try to correct the direction, but how the hell you're suppose to hit on the track when you set down your foot in full speed? That's why many of us end up on butt in the curves.

off the tracks we go
Off the track on the butt

Skiing (and picking mushrooms) is obviously something you have to post on Facebook. It didn't happen unless you post it on Facebook. But watch out, the closer to midlife you'll get, the more likely you're going to get addicted to skiing. Something that starts as an innocent attempt to live down your childhood skiing traumas may actually turn into hobby. Depending on the definition of hobby, of course. But one thing is for sure: if you are urged to update your Facebook status with your skiing experience, then it's not a hobby - yet.

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