Skiing off into the sunset

Last evening I got out for a ski near my house. I had been down in St. Cloud for work; pulling an all-nighter watching a project that I have been working on since July come to life. As I drove back north towards Duluth I figured I had enough time to do a few hot laps before the sun went down. I don’t mind skiing at night, but having been cooped up for a couple of days had me longing for some sunshine. I got out just in time to watch a glorious sunset.

Winter in Duluth provides many awesome sunsets and rises, but this one was pretty dang good. It was full of gold and warmth and lit everything a lovely shade of orange. It was about 10 degrees above zero. A heatwave this time of year. I wished I’d brought my phone with to capture the scene, but I rarely ski with my phone (at least when I’m this close to home). I’ll bring it with at other times, but it often dies in the cold. I’m contemplating getting a “real” camera to bring along on my adventures for moments like those from yesterday. The iPhone just isn’t cutting some days. In any case, the skiing was surprisingly great considering the lack of snow in the area. There were a few icy patches that I hit at top speed coming down some of the hills. The sound of my skis trying to bite into that ice makes me feel alive and I realize that I’m holding my breath trying to keep myself together and on the trail.

After my ski, I headed off to the pool to do a few laps followed by some sauna time. This is the only time that I’ll head indoors to be active. I have a really hard time doing time on the treadmill. It feels like a prison sentence. If I’m layered up right, being outside is hands down the best way to go. If I’m not layered up right, it means I’m working harder to stay warm, which isn’t always a bad thing. I’ve never regretted time outside. But, I have regretted time inside.

That said, the swim went smoothly and an hour flew by before I knew it. My shoulders felt a little tired and stiff (maybe from skiing both Sunday and Tuesday), but they loosened up after a few yards. I’m having a hard time counting laps and I wish there was something that could keep track for me. When people ask what I think about while I swim, I tell them that I’m trying to count the entire time. It’s ridiculous, but it’s the truth. I think I topped out around 2,500 yards for the night and the sauna was smoking hot afterwards. Gotta get that chlorine out of the skin somehow; no better way than to sweat it out.

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