We put on our skis and away we went. I suggested that Gord go in front and I would follow. He started out very slowly, so I wouldn’t get left behind.
It wasn’t long before I was breathing heavily, and working very hard just to keep up with him. The gap between us grew bigger and bigger, and soon I couldn’t even see him on the trail ahead of me! I felt as though I would never catch up with him.
I skied over a small hill and there was Gord at the bottom, waiting for me.
“Are you okay?” he asked. “You’re doing great!” Then, when he saw how exhausted I was, he said, “We can go back if you want.”
I’m a little stubborn, and I hate to give up so I insisted that I was fine. I told him that I just needed a short rest, and I thought I would take my ski jacket off. I didn’t tell him that I was drenched in sweat from working so hard!
We skied a little farther to a rest area. It was probably only about 0.5 km, but it felt like 15 km to me!
We ate some trail mix, and then I sat in the sun and read a book that I had packed, while Gord continued to ski down the trail – much faster, I noticed, than when he had skied with me.
When he came back, and I was strapping my skis on so we could head back, he gently mentioned that several years before he had learned a technique for cross-country skiing that had helped him a lot. He told me how to ski using this new technique. On the way back, I tried it.
He was right. When I skied in the new way, it took less work and I could ski faster.
The problem was that the new way was… well… new! My old way of skiing didn’t work very well, and it was inefficient, but after a few minutes of skiing the new way, I realized that I had stopped trying the new way and was skiing my old way again.
And Gord was far ahead of me – again.
I don’t like being left behind. Do you?