Lost in the woods

My shoulders feel like they’ve been through a meat grinder.

And it’s not just my shoulders. My arms are also sore, my knees are turning purple as I write this, my ankles will probably be swollen tomorrow, my legs in general feel like jelly, my butt hurts again, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to walk tomorrow.

What activity could possibly inflict this much damage, you ask?

Cross-country skiing.

Norwegian style.

On Thursday I went with a group of friends to rent cross-country skis from the gym on campus. We rented them for three months, and it was actually pretty cheap for Norway prices. Then tonight a group of us decided to go skiing together.

Little did I know how intense it would be.

I’ve cross-country skiied before. True, it was in gym class four years ago, but still, I know it’s hard work.

There aren’t mountains in Wisconsin, though.

We met around 6:30 PM (already dark here) and went up to ski around Sognsvann, which is just a few minutes’ walk from our dorm. There is a lake at Sognsvann and also lit cross-country trails, so it’s a very nice area to ski.

Of course there was a small downhill at the beginning of the course. I managed to make it down without falling which I was pretty impressed with, seeing as I haven’t gone cross-country skiing in four years and I’ve never downhill skiied before.

That would be the last downhill we would see for a while. We did see a lot of uphills, though. And by a lot I mean we would get up one hill to see another just beyond it. Yeah, it was pretty crazy. We then realized that we were basically skiing our way up a mountain.

Sweet.

It was funny because all the Norwegians flew past us. We probably looked like tourists.

Isaac, one of the guys who went with us, thought that the trail wrapped around the lake, so that we would end back in Kringsjå (where we live). After a while we realized this probably wasn’t the case, but we forged on anyways, confident that there would be either a subway stop or a bus stop at the end of the trail.

We reached the end of the trail where there was a cabin. And a very shaggy white pony. Who was just wandering around loose. He was very cute though. Nirvan named him Carlos.

We found no public transportation at the cabin, and we soon discovered that we would have to ski our way back to Kringsjå. Down the mountain.

I was terrified.

It was funny because skiing up the mountain, a few of us said, “We don’t have to ski back down this way, do we? Because I don’t think I can ski down these hills.”

Well, turns out we did have to ski back down the mountain.

The first hill we had to ski down was too steep for my comfort, so I just sat down on my skis and went down that way. It worked out pretty well actually, though it was incredibly fast.

Some of the hills I skiied down, which most of the time ended with me falling over. I made it down a few of the hills staying upright, but that was a pretty rare occasion.

For some of the hills, I took my skis off and walked down them. See, some of the hills were icy, which basically makes it impossible to slow or stop yourself, or really even control your skis. When we were skiing uphill we saw some of the Norwegians struggling to control themselves going downhill.

When you see a Norwegian struggling while skiing, you know you’re in trouble.

Anyways, I made it back to Sognsvann in one piece (barely), and so did the rest of my friends. Though Brooke crashed once and her ski pole got stuck under her, which bent it to an extreme degree. Luckily Nirvan managed to straighten it back out.

In the end, we skiied for 13 kilometers and were out for 3 1/2 hours.

Pretty good for tourists who don’t cross country ski regularly 😉

Even though it hurt like crazy and was a bit frightening at times, it was SO MUCH FUN.

I’m definitely going out on Monday again, and I can’t wait!

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