I had a great time yesterday cross-country skiing nearly up to the apple orchard. Downhill skiing is second nature for me but I’d only cross-country skied sporadically in my younger days. Last year I can remember being very timid and could feel unpleasant tension in my knees when my legs stretched pulled out in an awkward position. A bit further over and you’d be off to the hospital. This year’s been better. Firstly, I figured out how to properly get the bindings to snap in, which had been more of a random mystery for me in the past. The last time I set out, I went towards town for twenty-five minutes, which is the arbitrary marker I have for myself which took me nearly to Plains Road, much further than I’d ever gone before. And yesterday I went the same distance in the opposite direction.
I’d taken a quick look at a Youtube video or two to see what proper cross-country skiing looked like. I didn’t look like that. I worked on trying to maintain the motion though for longer. By the end I was pushing away one-hundred times in a stretch before I’d allow myself to pause or glide. The first time I went out this year I had a great sore-muscle feeling in my calves that didn’t reassert itself this time, suggesting either my calves have adjusted to accommodate such punishment, I didn’t exercise all that much or, perhaps most likely I had the proper motion which was less Frankenstein and better on my legs.
Today I went down to the trail. Sitting here at my desk you can see that the trail is still covered with snow. It was all melting rapidly with the weather in the high thirties yesterday, I didn’t suspect it would still be skiable today. It wasn’t. The cover was thinned and inconsistent and yet still too snowy to hope to be able to bike on. So, I’m left to hope for more snow, which isn’t in the forecast or for this bit to melt off so I can get back to biking. I took a walk around the perimeter of our property instead. Down in the back where there are a few pin oaks, I found the ground covered in a strange red berry that appeared to be growing out of the ground. My app couldn’t discern what it was. When I came back, I showed the Mrs. and now, as I’m typing this I can see her going down herself to have a look at these seasonal baubles.
It certainly feels like it’s back to work just now. I’m back to work. I’ve been up at work since 4:30AM. But my daughter isn’t back to school. Virtual school only starts for her next week. We asked her about what she was going to be doing this week. What she was going to accomplish. This didn’t go over well. Talking about SAT prep had ruined her morning, she informed us. It was already noon. I did my best to encourage her. Her tests so far have been good. She’s steadily improved. And she needs to keep pushing as we all know how unforgivingly rigorous the admissions process is. I’m glad to hear that many schools, including my alma mater no longer require SAT scores. But there are still those that do expect it. Traditionalist, I assume she should do it as that’s the way it’s always been done. I tried to make her confident. She’s done well, steadily improved, and . . . with more work she can do better. That's always the way it's been.