As mentioned frequently, I've been trying to ski every day since I returned home after surgery. At first it was with no poles and just doing the shortest loop I knew on the Chadburn Ski Trails. Then I added my poles and a few extra kilometres. I was nervous for a long time about falling and somehow blowing out my reconstructed breast, but it didn't happen. Not the falling, that for sure has happened, but fortunately the breast has remained intact. At my last check-in with the plastic surgeon she reiterated,
"You will not break!"
I skied every day through February and into March, even on the lowest post-chemo days and even the damn-Lachlan-has-given-me-another-cough-and-cold-and-I-feel-like-death-warmed-up days, I hauled myself out to the Chadburn Trails to ski. Sometimes with company, more often alone with my thoughts. Thoughts that are always cycling round some facet of this strange cancer journey. They never leave my mind.
I'd been nervous for some while to venture to the more serious trails at Mt. Mac. Here, not only were there many more skiers, but many more athletic and spandex-clad skiers. Granted, the trails are more groomed and in better nick, but the company is a bit more intimidating. Also, there was some kind of psychological barrier with heading back to Mt. Mac. It's where I usually go for my weekly ski with mates of a winter evening and returning there felt like a confrontation of all that has changed. I worried I'd be able to compare directly my current limp-a-long-puff-a-lot technique with my pre-cancer performance on those familiar trails.
The thawing of Spring put an end to the Chadburn trails and forced me to return to Mt. Mac and as usual in life, what you build up in your head to be an avalanche usually turns out to be snowflake. Mt. Mac. is wonderful. Kilometres of groomed and tracked trails that just beg to be explored. And with the days growing warmer it was just bliss to swish my way around them.
The thawing of Spring has slowly worked it's magic on these trails as well, but I've been clinging on. Checking the trail report on the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club website I'd complain to Hayley that 'today may be the last day, sounds like tough conditions.' And day after day we've had wonderful ski's.
Until finally, I checked yesterday and came across this report:
Officially done? Season closed? Not bloody likely, I muttered as I loaded my ski's and drove to the hill. And though I had to carry my ski's over two muddy patches, it was one of the best ski's of the season. T-shirt and no gloves. See photo at top of post.
And not to get too personal, and don't tell your Mother, but I wasn't wearing any long johns!
As I skied happily there again today, I decided that I will continue until I have to carry my ski's more than ski. Probably not likely to eventuate but it's a fun, bold claim nonetheless.
Honestly, ski season closed! Who do they think they're dealing with?