Tuesday, February 24, 2015

how to watch a ski race

Oh, the fate of the younger sibling.  The ones who get carted around to their older sibling's events and games and classes. I sympathize.  I was one as well.

And when such an event that you are heading off to has a prediction of being frigidly cold and windy, in an open field with no facilities or warming stations, with a long walk in and out of the field to the parking area?  And that it will be snowing?  One would think that would be enough to send said younger siblings digging their heels in and refusing to go.

But when I mentioned such a thing, both Julia and Elliott were appalled that I would suggest that they not attend.  And so, we all headed to watch their brother's ski race.  We started getting warnings and suggestions the day before about how to keep warm.  The extra Fun Race and filler events were cancelled in order to consolidate the day due to the cold.  Sleeping bags were suggested.  And thermoses of hot fluids.  And still Julia and Elliott wanted to go.

So we watched the weather and the predictions for when the snow would start falling.  We stuffed our car with ski gear and snacks and sleeping bags and bags of extra layers of warmth.  I filled every thermos we had with hot soup and cocoa.  I hit the hardware store for a resupply of hand and toe warmers.  For skiers and observers.

And then we headed to that clearing in the woods in Western Maine.

There were teams that clearly came prepared.  And organized.  And better funded.

Our area looked like this.

Jonathan and I helped out in the best way we nonathletic parent types could.  We handed out toe warmers.  And we looked around to watch and learn about how to do it better next year.  Clearly a sled was something that would have made that long trek in from the parking area a bit less arduous.

The seating was a bit tippy.

But you can't really fault such a multipurpose chair.

Last year at this time we watched basketball games in an indoor gym.  Despite the weather related issues?  We all really love watching ski races.  

But this? This is a whole new kind of sideline.

See our friend in black off to the right below?  I liked her choice of placement. She is a year ahead of us in her nordic race watching experiences, and she knows how to pick the best seat.  Over there by herself, she could clearly see and cheer for each child as they left for the staggered start.

And before you knew it, they were off.  And by off, I mean you saw them for a few seconds. And then they headed off into the woods.

You can run into said woods and catch them as they fly by at a few intersections.  Or you can find a tree to sit under.  And wait.

And I think, even if you are exhausted, and very cold, and your toes feel like ice cubes, and the snow is in your eyes.  Hearing your brother cheering for you makes you go a little bit faster, just to remind him who is bigger.  And thank him for being there.

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