Its a fantastic 1•C here today. I decided to mark the occasion with my first xc ski of the year. I like gear, a lot of people do. For me gear, like the right job interview outfit, is a key part of the process. I like and strive to have the appropriate clothing and gear for whatever sport I'm undertaking. Those of you who engage in fairly gear intensive sports (especially in the North) know that this isn't just a vanity thing, it's a requirement. The right gear can make or break your experience (am I over-stating it?).
But there is also the image aspect of gear, what you are trying to communicate. A great compare and contrast exercise is the difference in the color palettes, prints and style of xc ski vs. downhill skiing and snowboarding.. Some of the stylistic differences have a functional purpose and some do not. More often its geared to the consumer (of course) and while more and more teens and kids xc ski many many more prefer the downhill pursuits. I am a perfect example, I grew up downhill skiing, and started pursuing xc in my early 20s.
So here is my gear list at the start of my 7th (wow!) xc season:
Xc skis: 2 sets (1 skate purchased @ ski swap, 1 classic - borrowed)U
Poles: 1 set
Number of bent poles: 1-ish
Boots: 1 pair (also purchased at ski swap)
Long johns: 2 pairs, both polypropylene
Base layer shirts: 3 (polypropylene)
Under the base layer shirt: 1 (polypropylene)
Sports bras: 3 maybe 4 (these serve me in all my athletics)
Ski pants: 3
Ski pants that fit: 2
Socks: 2 pairs (1 paired chewed in places by dog)
Neck warmer: 1
Bellaclava: 1 aka "the flying nun"
Dog booties for Blue: 3 (of 4) OF COURSE!!!
Kms of trail outside my front door: 2 or 3 :)
I got to thinking about my gear, because this is the time when my favorite skiing/running store (Fresh Air Experience) often has post Xmas sales. And you can't feel badly about buying another jacket, vest, base layer, fancy socks or something when it's for your health and supports a local business...right?
Maybe not bad, but perhaps think twice in my case. After all if one were really to look at what I could use its another set of poles and boots that are actually meant for classic instead of forcing my skate gear to double. But, why would I spend money on that when I could buy a prettier outfit?!? I hope you're sensing the sarcasm here folks.
My skiing adventure today reminded me that sometimes digging through the bottom of the gear bag can reveal treasures you forgot you had and fill that need that is so easy to create particularly as it pertains to "your health". I'm pretty sure I'll burn as many calories, have the same mental and physical benefit in this gear as new stuff I could buy.
Though, some wax may be in order :)