Monday, April 4, 2011

The Athlete in Me

I had forgotten how athletic I had been when I was younger. In high school, I used to join the 100 meter dash during our school’s Intramurals, and became a member of the volleyball and baseball teams. I didn’t really like sports. I wasn’t into competition either. I was just picked up by my teachers to put me into these sports, and I just complied out of obedience. At least, I fairly enjoyed playing.

As I grew older, I left behind me all those school sports, and I just played recreational games with my friends in the congregation whenever we had outdoor gatherings.  The only sport that I really loved to play was table tennis, and I usually played with my brother and some of my friends who had similar fondness of the game.

I haven’t played for a long time. And it’s true, I had forgotten that I used to be an athletic person.  However, last February, a popular winter sport here has awakened the sleeping athlete in me. These past two months had been an ideal season for skiing. As I watched the skiers on  TV or those who ski just around here, I felt an attraction to this sport, and I wanted to learn it. 

And so we went to buy a second-hand set of  ski paraphernalia.

For a start, I must first learn the cross country skiing. Good thing we have one ski trail right beside our apartment compound. I only need to walk a few steps to the starting point. Before I set out, my hubby warned me that I would surely fall, so I should be careful. But I confidently said that it would not happen because I had always been very careful.  When I started, I wondered why my skis wouldn’t slide at all. Later on, I found out that I should follow the lines in the snow that had been pressed by other skiers. After covering only a few meters, I already perspired a lot despite my multiple winter clothing. But I went on, determined to learn the sliding techniques. When I came to the first slope, I didn’t know how to get up there, and so I waited for other skiers to see how they’d do it. But when I tried to slide down, I realized how easy it was to… FALL.!!! And I fell many times.  

Well, it’s a little hard to learn, especially to control one’s balance. The skiers say that one must fall many times before he can learn. Of course, it’s easier for little kids than for older ones. But then, nobody’s too old to learn, so I know I can learn. I have started last February and have tried since to ski at least once a week for only an hour. So far, I’m getting familiarized with some of the techniques, though it’s still hard for me to keep my balance when I coast down the slope. As long as we still have snow, even right now in spring, I can still keep on learning until it’s no longer possible to ski. When I will have learned enough of the cross country skiing, I’ll start with the downhill skiing, which looks more exciting to me. Then someday, maybe I could join other skiers to go to the “Fjällen” to experience the real downhill skiing.

The athlete in me is fully awake now and I enjoy  the new adventures that I’m presently experiencing. For me, this is a kind of sport that can pass as a wholesome recreation, good exercise and an activity that brings me closer to God’s wonderful creations that flourish around the skiing trails.