Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why I haven't been in the gym

Dear nice gym owner: I know you haven't seen my face lately. Dear neighbors: You haven't seen me run by laden with my ice joggers. This is why.

Tiny houses.
And now, winter.

It wasn't that I hated those things before I moved to this county. They just didn't make a top ten list of things I wanted in my universe. Winter was okay, skiing was kind of fun, but in Southeast Alaska it was usually a soggy mess, unsuitable for skiing. I liked little houses, but secretly yearned after a windows-up-to-the-sky, yoga room-having, space for workout-room enabled place. Dogs were fine, but only to borrow. Bacon? Gasp! I had sworn off pork products back in 1990.

As with all resistance, at some point it is good to confront your ideals. Bacon is actually pretty good. Tiny houses are cozy--ours up the canyon is 400 square feet. Dogs are fuzzy wuzzy sweet paws furrballs (Um. Okay, so I love our dogs.) And winter? Summer is my first love. But winter, I have a place in my heart for.

Not the icy, white-knuckled driving kind we've been having up to now. Not the, carp, where are my ice joggers because I'm going to fall and die kind. Not the, Rats, my pipes are frozen because it's -20. I guess I'm still picky about winter. I love the kind that just started this week, the ultra light fluffy powder from the sky. The skiing? It's been superb. I've neglected the gym, running, writing, just about everything, to skiskiskiski.

Don't worry, little chair! Summer is coming--in about four months.

Skiing is sort of like running, I tell myself as I slog along the unbroken trail. And the gym! I'm using my triceps, aren't I? The downside of "training for life" instead of training for a specific event is that you feel guilty if you neglect anything. You can't say, I'm focusing on running because I have this, you know, marathon, because you look at your neglected biceps and think, girl, you need to throw some iron around. Or, hmm, there's that bike trainer gathering dust. There's a sense of urgency the older I get--use it or lose it. Keep going, don't give in like others have.

I ski deep into the canyon where the wolves are, where hardly anyone goes, where the campground used to be before the flood. My skis are completely buried in snow. A layer of white coats my eyelashes, my hair, my fleece vest. Maybe I should be in the gym. Maybe I should be putting on the running miles. Then I think: the whole point of training for life is that workouts are fun. They aren't a grim, put-in-your time affair. And so I ski some more.


  1. I put time in at the gym so I can ski, ski ski. IMHO, when you have the opportunity to ski in soft fluffy pow, that takes priority over everything else! Wish we'd get some of that snow on Hood. So far this season, my backcountry skiing has been limited to trips alongside the Palmer lift at Timberline. Not exactly the backcountry, but better than nothing....

  2. I can't imagine feeling guilty about, well, anything as long as you're skiing. Except maybe neglected work. But no, no, not even that.

    When I lived in a snowy climate I was terrible on the death sticks, but I was always amazed by the full-body engagement of breaking trail on snowshoes up steep mountains. Best workout ever.

    1. I agree about snoeshoes. Funny how everyone here makes fun of them. They think they are slow and you don't even get the satisfying ski down. They have not embraced the slog.

    2. Personally, I believe snowshoes are not as slow as others think. The last winter that I lived in Juneau, I dated a skier. I'd sometimes join him on his outings with my snowshoes and snowboard on my back. I usually did not have a problem keeping up on the climbs (there often was a packed snowshoe trail beside the skin track on his routes.) But the downhills often start-and-stop difficult for someone with my skill set, and I found the snowboard cumbersome, so I'd leave it behind on solo outings and just lope down powder slopes in my snowshoes (loved this!) I don't know. I think I just don't love gravity sports. I should stop trying to force them on myself, technical mountain biking included. Some of us are just sloggers. ;)

    3. True that. I can tyoically keep up and often pass skiers on the skin up.

  3. Oh, yes, skis or snowshoes over the gym every time! Fresh air over eau du workout scent; trees and creeks rather than mesomorphs strutting about; and QUIET rather than too-loud "music" and crashing weights! (and we have a nice gym). I agree with Jill that snowshoeing, esp. with our deep snow, is a full body workout.

  4. Training for life!!!! LOVE IT!! The snow looks Gorgeous!!


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