The cross-country skiing to look at him seems easy, especially if like me you already know skiing. Instead everything is different, the skis are narrow and long, the boots are soft and are fixed only at the tip, the balance at the beginning is difficult to maintain.

Last Saturday the Val di Fiemme was all in ferment for the Marcialonga that would be held on Sunday. Francesca and I decided to throw ourselves in the pit, take a teacher who would explain the fundamentals and then kick a bit 'along a stretch of the path of the race.

marcialonga val di fiemme

We went to the Tesero Stadium , we hired boots, skis and poles and we went to meet Henry, the teacher we had booked for the lesson.

Both Francesca and I have been skiing since I was a child, but it was like being six years old again and having to learn the snowplow again. Cross – country skis are very different from downhill skis, due to their size (narrower and longer), shape (straight) and because – daaan – they do not have laminae. If you do the snow plow as you have always done it, you end up on the ground with your legs wide and this is not suitable for a lady.

cross country skiing

Then? So you have to clean up everything you know about skiing and learn all over again .

Getting to learn something new every now and then does well, it gets out of your patterns (yes, even the snow plow you learned at six is ​​a scheme, if there is another way to do it), it returns to a plasmability condition that adults we lose. We tend to become rigid within identities, roles, beliefs, renounce to change, reinforce what we already know rather than take the risk of experiencing something new in which we could be mediocre or fail.

"If you only do what you can do you will never be more than you are now."

  • Master Shifu, Kung Fu Panda 3

Francesca and I took off ourselves – she the Milanese professional, I improvised the adventure woman that I pretend to be lately – and we stood in front of Henry without any shame for our precarious balance and our movements to be ducks.

Enrico explained to us the difference between classical technique and skating technique . From beginners using the classic technique, in which the movement is similar to that of the walk.

He explained to us many other things: how to push skis together with the sticks by bending the knees and torso forward, how to coordinate legs and push the sticks in the alternating step, like doing the snow plow bending the knees inward.

On the cross-country ski tracks there are some parallel grooves ( tracks ) that make life easier for those who learn and in general those who use the alternating pitch . We did some practice at the Center of the Fund , among experienced cross-country skiers who trained for Marcialonga and very fast children who doubled us on every lap.

After class time with Enrico, we ventured along the stretch of the Marcialonga route from Tesero to Predazzo. The beauty of cross-country skiing is that you can enjoy the landscape in silence, cross bridges that pass over the streams, glide alongside the woods slowly, observing. The bottom is the contemplative version of the ski , but also has its good dose of fatigue, especially for the arms that have to push at the same pace of the legs.

We walked four kilometers on the flat, with small climbs and some slight descent. For a first time it seemed a dignified performance, we were satisfied.

I liked it? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely yes. It is a very nice and complete sport , it makes the whole body work and is suitable for everyone.

Cross-country skiing is also quite cheap : the rental of the complete equipment cost us 12 euros each, the cost to buy it is still low – the boots are from 50 euros, skis from just over 100 euros, as for clothing to begin with, you can safely use the ski one if you already have. No lift facilities are used, so it is not necessary to purchase the ski pass. For the lesson with the teacher, we spent 48 euros in two. One or two lessons are enough to learn the basis of classical technique.

The Val di Fiemme , which houses the Marcialonga, is one of the most beautiful areas in the Dolomites for cross-country skiing. Together with the Val di Fassa you have more than 200 kilometers of slopes in a breathtaking alpine scenery, for me one of the most beautiful in the world.

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