A friend of mine posted this at Facebook about 12 hours ago: “Looks like tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday will all be “yucky” days…” Upon reading her post I was thankful my friend John and I were able to get a great 10 mile lunch skate in out at Boyd Lake St(k)ate Park earlier. And while not typically a person known to look at a weather forecast (we live in Colorado where we say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes it’ll change,”) I took what my friend’s Facebook post said and filed it away in my memory bank. Tomorrow as a sk8 day was a washout.
Sure enough, the usual waking hour rolled around and the eyes popped open. This is typically 2 hours before the sun comes up. In the time between waking and sunrise one can do many things: get juiced on java, poke around on Facebook, catch up or get ahead of a workload, workout, do some reading…lot’s of options. But not today. Today was a day of reflection and near defeat. The thought that the outdoor season might actually be coming to a close has started to become a reality. I hate this time of the year. Perish the thought – damn you, damn you miserable thought. I was ready to call it a season.
Winter training! Months of elliptical hell. Hours of slideboard and Gazelle gliding. The smell of the rink, which recalls thousands of sweaty feet, Lysol, spilled sodas, Teen Spirit and stale popcorn every time you walk through the door. All are poor substitutes for the fresh Colorado outdoors, and dampen my enthusiasm for our beloved sport. Mmmm, somewhat.
Similar I imagine to a child with her blankie or the lord of the crack-house couch, a stubborn refusal to relinquish my outdoor skates takes hold and irrational thoughts of justifiable homicidal rage supplant sanity…
Hell no. I will not lie down. I will not go quietly into the bleakness of the winter night. I’ll live for the next outdoor skate, with my eyes and hopes fixed on the heavens above. Pray Lord, keep the damn snow to yourself.
This is the time of year I’m most reminded of how spoiled we are here in Colorado the rest of the year. This is a perfect state for a sk8er. But thanks to my recent trip to Florida, I’m now somewhat resentful of the sunshine state. There are BETTER states to live in if you want to skate outdoors year-round. I guess that’s a discussion I’ll need to have with HorseyPants – where to retire. Until then, I’ll keep my outdoor skates in my trunk, ready to roll, waiting for that next perfect day. Call them my security blanket. Touch them and your toast!
11/12/09 Training: 10 miles outdoors at Boyd Lake with John. John is a runner who skates, and skates really well. He and I skated Duluth to our personal bests two years ago and he would have done the same again this year but he’d suffered through knee problems all season, so he took time off. He’d been skating on a certain brand of skates that have a 10 degree cant, and over long distances they created undue pressure on his knees, causing injuries that just wouldn’t heal. He’s on a pair of Powerslides now and the pain is gone. His skating is strong – he hasn’t missed a stride! But I’m bummed – he’s moving to California in March. Guess I’ll catch up with him in Duluth. If anyone knows of good skating spots around Mt. Shasta, please let me know.