I bought a new pair of ski boots last week (Atomic Hawx w90 if you’re interested). As any skier will know this is a milestone event. I’ve had my last pair for 10 years and we’ve skied together in 7 different countries and over 50 different resorts. We’re old friends now. I know that when I get them out of the attic for the first few turns of the season they’ll be a bit grouchy – a little light punishment for leaving them in the dark for all those months – but within a few hours they always came good. Now it’s time for them to take semi-retirement and they are soon to be packed off to my mum’s house up north where they’ll be handy for those occasions when Scotland’s snow obliges. I’m told that breaking in a new pair of boots should not be the agonising pain that it used to be – heat moulding speeds up the process and while spending 20 minutes standing in tuck position in the middle of Ellis Brigham made me slightly self conscious I’m hoping to reap the benefits when we get out on the snow!
Since the new boots came home I have got them out of the box most days – sometimes putting them on, sometimes just admiring their shiny newness. I’m supposed to wear them around the house for 10-15 hours before taking them on snow. However, human decency suggests that’s not a good idea given that I live in a second floor tenement flat with wooden floors.. not sure the downstairs neighbours would enjoy that! So it was suggested to me that I wear them to do the ironing – thing is, I don’t usually do that much ironing. Either my clothes are all going to get a lot less wrinkled or I’m going to take my chances when I go skiing.
This does however, raise the issue preparation for a ski trip. It’s pretty simple maths that the higher your level of fitness to begin with, the better you’re going to feel on the snow. Here in the Ski Independence office activity levels are beginning to rise, although it’s not exactly easy at this time of year when we’re at our busiest! Running, cycling, fitness classes, swimming… they are all good ways to prepare for your ski holiday. Even walking to work is better than nothing at all. Skiing uses muscles that you’re not even aware of having most of the time (and don’t even start me on snowboarding! I’ve had a few goes at it and been unable to walk for days afterwards). So basically, whatever you do, you know there will be an element of pain involved when you get on the snow (usually the afternoon of day three for me). Now’s the time to put the work in and feel the benefits in resort.. so I guess I’d better start some training.. I want to make sure me and my new boots get off on the right foot!