Saturday I woke up early to ride with First Rate Mortgage cycling team. It was raining buckets, however, so I bailed and went cross-country skiing with my sister. Now, I’ve been Nordic skiing before, but I normally stick to the trails and groomed locations around the city. I’ve also never been up with Susan (my sister), or her friend Beth, who for the purposes of this blog entry we will call "Beth the Destroyer".

We started off around 8:30 with me running around the house frantically trying to find the last few pieces of equipment that had somehow been lost between my putting them into a box last April and Saturday morning when I opened that now dust covered box. Finally I dumped about three quarts of boiling water into a thermos grabbed a few bags of tea and hopped into the car feeling terrible for holding up my sister and Beth the Destroyer. Even worse, I was making them stop at the nordic center so I could rent some cross country skis.

IMG_1355 Fast forward two hours. I finally have skis, and we’re at the trail head. Instead of the typical groomed trails I’m used to we were staring up a snow shoe path with some rugged ski tracks next to it sinking deep into the snow. I fell before we were out of sight from the car

, which is nothing new. It takes me a little while each winter to remember how to stay on my feet. What was new was the tone in Beth the Destroyer’s voice when she said, "you should be prepared to fall a lot." Not surprisingly Beth the Destroyer’s idea of "a lot" differs greatly from my own.

We started climbing the trail, and about 20 minutes in we saw some lone ski tracks heading off to the side. Seeking adventure we followed them up until they ended at a tent where the creator of the tracks was enjoying the (until our intrusion) quiet and peaceful serenity of the snow covered forest.

Back on the main trail and another mile up the path I started struggling. The path was no longer well established, and whenever the tracks twisted up and around the terrain my track skies made a point of letting me know they were not meant for such mountain man activities. Often my poles (which had dainty little baskets on the bottom) would sink in up to the handle, leaving me flat on my face. Other times my skis would slide backwards no matter how much pressure I put on them, and when I tried to side step I was reminded that track skies are much skinnier than back-country skis by how I failed to stay within six feet of surface of the unpacked snow.

Around 2 we decided to turn around. I was getting nowhere, Susan was dying of laughter induced asphyxiation, Beth the Destroyer looked bored of waiting, and the sixteen pounds of fresh now that had made its way into my most inner layer of underwear was losing its initial charm.

The way down was less of a struggle, and by the time we made it back to the car Beth the Destroyer had regained her patience and was nice enough to share some homemade guacamole and chips.

Sunday, not only did I make it to the ride with First Rate Mortgage, I also remembered my Garmin Forerunner 305, so I can put up a map!

If all dogs have their days, what do dogs with broken tails have? (the answer is the title of this post)

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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