Wednesday, November 25, 2009


All around the forest where I live there are small boxes like this one, courtesy of the Skier's Association. There's a stamp and a stamp pad in each one. The idea is that you ski around with a small notebook, and stamp it every time you get to one of these. That way you can keep track of how far you've skied each season, and where you've been.

When I was a kid, you could hand in your notebook to your PE teacher and get awarded pins in assorted colors, depending on how far you'd skied. I don't think it works this way anymore, I never see kids skiing on their own, except those crazy Mowgli-like mushing girls, and they are way too cool to stop for stamping.

Children, it seems to me, are now indoctrinated to perform that deplorable activity, "exercise". They are fitted out in science fiction-like space suits and made to ski in groups in perfectly manicured tracks at speeds that will optimize their performance in competitions. A young person or two who ventures out on their own would probably be considered very odd and in need of some kind of specialized help.

Whenever I see the organized, skiing Hitlerjugend out in force I remind myself not to whine about kids who choose to spend their lives in front of computers.
I realize "skiing" in English usually means "downhill skiing", while "cross country skiing" has to be qualified, as if it was a weird, deviant sub genre. Here at Accidental Hermit "skiing" means "transport", not "getting pulled uphill by some infernal mechanized contraption".


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

og som vi samlet kilometer på ski i barndommens Nordmarka.....Skiforeningen ga premie til den som gikk lengst i en sesong. Min lillesøster vant. Vi tok trikken fra skolen, i byen, til Frognerseteren og sto på ski via Ullevålseter til Nordberg, der vi bodde.. 12 km hver dag......
naboen på Snippen har talt

Northmark said...

Tenk deg det. Unger ute på egen hånd. Det er så vakkert. Og helt forbi.