Cross-country skiing is the toughest sport I have ever participated in. The skating technique is a bear! I just returned from a little jaunt in the Sierra Nevada. The past two years, I have been reliving my, how shall we say this, my Bruce Springsteen “Glory Days.” While in high school in Minnesota, I raced for three years. I guess being Swedish and Norwegian it IS a birth right to wax up dem der Fischer skis. In my home state, there are many high schools that tender teams and attend meets across the state. My coach’s son was an Olympic skier for the U.S. Ski team. The Bauer family was well-known in U.S. cross-country ski circles and were probably the most disciplined and toughest Norwegians I have ever come across. I have to admit, they crossed my mind when I was on REI.com picking out a new pair of skis 17 years later. You see, I have not strapped up any cross-country skis since 1993, when my skis went sailing off my unlocked car ski rack…. never to be seen again. I called it a career after that mishap and to be truthful was probably quite pleased I had a dam good excuse. Then in 2009, an old friend from my ski team days called and asked if I wanted to give it a go again! I did and thought, at 34, I can still do this! Also, it just so happened that a world-class ski resort was only 75 minutes from my door! Royal Gorge, an absolute gem of a resort in Soda Springs, CA, is a destination for skiers around the world. Just yesterday, I ran into an Australian team training there! DANG! A very important aspect to cross-country is WAX. Back in the day, I would set up my daddy’s saw horses in the basement (MN needs basements y’all to keep dem pipes from freezing!) and apply the necessary wax that would be conducive to the next days weather conditions. 17 years later, I wondered if still had the Swedish touch. Dang right I did! The ghost of that legend Johnny Bauer helped me glide that iron effortlessly across the base of my brand spanking new Fischers! Yeah!
THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY BAUER Leave a comment