Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Nationals

It's been a while since I went skiing. About two years I think (well, according to my blog records anyway).

It has definitely been too long. Getting out onto the snow is something I would ideally like to do at least once a year. Once in two years simply isn't enough. I feel like I've missed out on something, as though the last two years have only been one. Skiing has become like a fulcrum for the year and not having it has made the years merge into one long unmanageable mess in my mind.

But finally, I was able to travel down to Thredbo. I had a couple of good reasons as well. First was that it was Angus' buck's party. He was getting married in December, but rather than have the traditional buck's party closer to the event, he wanted to go skiing (or in his case boarding) with his friends. It was great fun to see old friends (even if they were all boarding....) and we had a blast on the snow as you would expect.

However, the trip for everyone was done by Sunday. I on the other hand had decided that I would stay a little bit longer. It didn't seem right to only go for such a short time, but more importantly I would be catching up with Bryce!

Catching up with Bryce whenever I go to Thredbo is one of the priorities. After all, with his need to travel around the world for races, when else are we going to meet? The timing of this trip was perfect. I had arrived in Thredbo in time for the Nationals! Bryce and his brother would both be competing in the Slalom and the Giant Slalom. I had never been to a ski race, so I was looking forward to not only seeing the two of them race, but to see how a race took place.
The conditions were ordinary, but I was ready to watch a race! I had even brought along the cow bell that Bryce had given me years back to cheer with.
Thankfully for me, Hugh and Bryce's sister Cherry kept me company and kindly led me to the race course. She even directed me to the best places to watch the race.

Before Hugh and Bryce went, the disabled skiers raced.

These racers were truly awe inspiring. Seeing these racers flying down the mountain in the buckets or on one leg made me realise quickly the power of determination. It also made me realise just how slowly I ski....
Bryce got a decent result in his second race, but sadly crashed out of his first.
The speed at which these guys fly down the mountain is breathtaking. Skiing down the mountain from the top of the race course to the bottom made me quickly realise both how long the course was, as well as how slow I was going (my lack of speed was becoming a recurring theme). Many long minutes later, I was at the bottom of the course. Looking at the race timer, I could see the times for the racers light up ..... all of the times were under a minute. Again .... wonderful to know that see my own skiing inadequacies highlighted once more.

I really do love skiing. Being out here on the snow always makes me happier. There's something about the cold wind and the perfect white blankets of snow that seem to calm and relax. On those perfect white days, when the sun is blanked out by snow falls and when all you can feel is the spray of the snow in your face, you feel as though nothing can be more perfect.

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