The author skis at the Ski for Women earlier this winter. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

The author skis at the Ski for Women earlier this winter. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Not feeling it

I really do not want to write this.

It’s not that I don’t love writing my column, I enjoy it. It’s a fun practice, reflecting on recreation — mine or otherwise. It keeps me sharp. It lets me hone my skill. I’m passionate about it! I love to write and this lets me do just that, with very few parameters.

It’s just, I really don’t want to write this one in particular. The conditions just aren’t right. It’s been a long, busy week and instead of wrapping it up nicely with a completed column and nothing left on my agenda I’m sitting here staring at a blank text document marking the white with a few black characters here and there, and here and there (oh I’ll put some more right here, too).


Well, might as well get this over with. I mean, what else do I have to do? The wind is blowing so hard in Seward that I may wake up in Oz tomorrow and I’m all caught up on my podcasts. It is a little chilly in my house. I should probably walk to the coffee shop and warm up. Maybe I’ll read a book while I’m there, or do a crossword puzzle. No. No. I should really write this column.

OK, here it goes. I’m going to push through this and maybe … just maybe … I’ll finish before deadline.

Look! I’m nearly a quarter of the way there. I just have to write that much three more times and I’ll be done. Then, I can go find somewhere to warm up, do something, anything, other than write this column.

Maybe I should stop here and get a snack. Yes, definitely, I need fuel.

Yummy, almonds.

OK, I’m getting the hang of this. I think I can do it, finding my stride. Yeah, I got this.

So, guess what! I skied the Tour of Tsalteshi last weekend. I had been looking forward to the race for a while. I learned to cross-country ski last winter on the trails and was ecstatic when I got to put those skills to the test during the first Tour of Tsalteshi. This year, I was excited to revisit the trails that I had been missing all winter long since moving to Seward and see how I had improved as a skier.

The weather had something else in mind.

There was snow everywhere. And not the beautiful type of snow everywhere that you can glide over and enjoy while you speedily ski past. It’s the sloggy type of snow everywhere that eats your skis and leaves you pushing and pushing and barely gliding. After the first five kilometers I just did not want to ski anymore.

And it’s not that I don’t love skiing, I really do. It’s just, I didn’t love skiing in all that snow. I didn’t love skiing that afternoon. The first five kilometers dragged by while I tried to think of different things D.N.F. could be an acronym for besides “DID NOT FINISH.”

Do not forget, I still had three more five kilometers to go. I wasn’t going to get there anytime soon because, well, “Duh, not fast!” but after one more set of five kilometers I’d be halfway there! And that means I’d be halfway to a dry pair of pants and about a quarter of the way to drink ’n‘ food at Kenai River Brewing.

Sometimes it seemed like the snow was getting better and then it would get worse.

(One minute, I need to go do anything but sit here and write this. I was on a roll but I lost it. I’m at about 640 words. Almost there!)

“Is that rain?” I thought as I creeped along. It was. I looked at my watch, expecting it to be near sundown and my distance to be far from 20 kilometers. But, I found some tempered optimism. I was almost at 20 kilometers and just under two hours into the race.

The jolt of positivity got me up and over and down a few last climbs. Then, woah! Just like that, the race was over.

And, look at that, so is this column!

Reach Kat Sorensen at

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