Last year was my first time ever on cross country skis. Growing up in the Pittsburgh, PA area, alpine skiing was the winter sport of choice for many of us. I was very hesitant at first to get into Nordic skiing, being surrounded by the Great Glen Trails staff that have been skiing and even racing for years. I began my Nordic skiing career on the first day of Nordic Meisters, our weekly race series held every winter. Well, let’s just say I didn’t have a good run of it. In fact, it was an out right miserable time for me: my feet hurt, I was exhausted and I felt like the snow was working against me.
Despite my frustration, I was encouraged to take a lesson with Great Glen Trails Ski School Director and Olympian, Sue Wemyss. My first thought was, “Oh jeez, she is going to think I am a complete idiot on skis!” And, the first thing I learned in the lesson: I am not an idiot on skis! Sue very patiently watched as I demonstrated my idea of what skate and classic skiing should look like. I am sure my technique resembled that of a flailing duck at times, but Sue was encouraging. Sue quickly began to pick apart my self-taught technique. Within minutes I could feel a difference in my ability. Little changes here and there gave me a smoother and faster glide. Wow, I really can do this! I know I won’t make it on an Olympic team, but my Nordic Meister run times have improved and I am having fun! Thanks to Sue and the rest of the staff here, I have become more confident in my skiing and continue to build on my abilities. So what’s in a lesson? It’s simply this: dedicated instructors that are there to help make your skiing the best it can be, no matter what level you are at. Their love for Nordic skiing shines through and through with each lesson that they teach. Thanks to a lesson, I didn’t give up hope, and I am much happier on my skis! -kje
Kelly is all smiles after her lesson.