February 28, 2010

Absurdly bleak thoughts I have had while cross-country skiing.

At the Odana golf course — which is nicely groomed for skiing — in the twilight, near a row of tall black-looking evergreens (everblacks?): What if this were limbo, and it went on forever?

At Blue Mounds State Park — while enjoying a well-groomed trail through a woods full of bare scrubby trees: What if this were WWII, and we were escaping from the Nazis?

DSC08120

I am pleased by these snow outings, and I don't suffer from racing thoughts or negativity, but I do have a tendency, when I'm experiencing something as beautiful, to test out the feeling by imagining additional circumstances which would make it awful. This wouldn't be so fun if....

Oh! But it was fun:

30 comments:

EK said...

"What if this were WWII, and we were escaping from the Nazis?"

Battle of the Bulge, baby! Next time you're out there, imagine yourself breaking through to Bastogne with Patton.

traditionalguy said...

Winter is not a good time to flea across country. Suppose you have to flee a 30% pay cut to balance the State's budget. What do you flee to?

Joan said...

Great, great video. First thing I've seen in a long time that made me miss snow.

Also: that's what I think of when I hear "cross country skiing," not the horrendous slogs the poor Olympic athletes put themselves through. The Olympics takes all the fun out of certain sports.

lucid said...

Very sweet revelations of unwanted bleak thoughts. Speaking as a shrink and admirer, I'd be happy to work with you on this.

NewHam said...

That's kinda dark, no?

You're Gothy. Black skirts and the imagery and all.

I have to admit though that I've entertained the possibility that the entire universe is merely a construct that's been created to hold me and only me to see how I'd react to it when placed in the various circumstances life presents me.

So, it's not just you.

Push your bangs to one side and upload a pic so we can see if you're truly a Visigoth.

Hannah said...

Skiing cross country to flee the Nazis? Calls to mind the excellent 1940 film The Mortal Storm, where Jimmy Stewart dodges Nazi bullets to reach the safe haven of... Austria.

Paul said...

"What if this were WWII, and we were escaping from the Nazis?"

"What if" thinking is a good mental exercise. I do the same thing when I'm in the woods. I always have my eye out for caves I could hide out in if the Nazis were chasing me or I were fending off zombies. But then, I may be nuts.

EK said...

I've not heard of "The Mortal Storm." But you can't hardly go wrong with Jimmy Stewart. When I think of movies with snow and Nazis, I think of "Where Eagles Dare" with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.

ironrailsironweights said...

Skiing cross country to flee the Nazis? Calls to mind the excellent 1940 film The Mortal Storm, where Jimmy Stewart dodges Nazi bullets to reach the safe haven of... Austria.

A terrific movie, though it never mentioned that the country from which he fled was Germany, or that the persecuted Roth family was Jewish. It came out before the United States was at war and the studio took pains not to offend Germany.

One thing that slightly distracted from my enjoyment of the movie when I watched it recently was the casting of Frank Morgan as Professor Roth. It was impossible not to think of him as the Wizard of Oz.

Peter

David said...

What if it's all been a dream and I wake up with Richard?

edutcher said...

No skirt this time? You look so grand in the skirt.

... And still chasing after each other like newlyweds.

Ann said...

At the Odana golf course — which is nicely groomed for skiing — in the twilight, near a row of tall black-looking evergreens (everblacks?): What if this were limbo, and it went on forever?

How Dantesque of you. Is this where Hell freezes over?

At Blue Mounds State Park — while enjoying a well-groomed trail through a woods full of bare scrubby trees: What if this were WWII, and we were escaping from the Nazis?

Battle of the Bulge, baby! Next time you're out there, imagine yourself breaking through to Bastogne with Patton.


More like Knut Haukleid and his men, trying to outrace the Krauts to the Swedish border after blowing up the heavy water plant at Vermork. Nobody on skis (either side) in the Bulge.

Peter V. Bella said...

Ya know, it's great to see people enjoying themselves, each others company, and a mutual activity. God bless.

t-man said...

David wins the thread.

Roux said...

What if you were just living a charmed life. Snow Queen Ann Althouse....

save_the_rustbelt said...

Most Americans are lucky, we have never had to flee in terror from anything.

One of my mentors was involved with the relief of Bastogne, with a Bronze Start, two Purple Hearts and frozen feet along the way. He rarely spoke of his heroism, but did speak of tearing down the gate of a death camp some months later,

More Americans would probably benefit from spending time alone out-of-doors, especially in the dark of night. Tends to be an interesting and humbling experience.

chuck b. said...

"What if we're out here so long my buzz wears off? Did that idiot Meade pack the flask? What if we only have one more box of wine at home?"



kidding!

John Lawton said...

Meade: Nice, steady camera work while skiing! How'd you do it?
Althouse: When fleeing Nazis, best skip the cruel neutrality, no matter how cruel!

bagoh20 said...

My immediate impression was that the camera's view was that of a werewolf, and maybe it was. They have opposable thumbs and even credit cards.

Deborah said...

I have always wanted to know if my father was at Bastogne. He talked about it as if he were there but would not elaborate. How wonderful to enjoy the outdoors in the winter. Looks like great fun. But sometimes it does bring to mind some post-apocalyptic scenario -- the cold, and whiteness I guess.

AllenS said...

I walk at least a mile every morning on my treadmill. It's incredibly boring. So, I imagine myself back in the Army stationed at Ft. Bragg, and I pretend that I'm in formation and we're doing our morning run.

AllenS said...

Deborah,

You can file a FOIA and get your father's military records. If you need any help, I can send you a form, or you could look it up using Google. Records are here:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Always remember, you must sign any form and include the date.

Scott M said...

Ann,

I haven't CCS'd since I was in high-school in the mid-80's. I had the same sort of things zipping through my mind. Back then, though, we all assumed we could be roasted in a nuke at any moment, so my morbid thoughts turned more toward the "I'm a survivor of WWIII and I'm skiing through downtown Miami in full nuclear winter".

LOL

Ann Althouse said...

"Meade: Nice, steady camera work while skiing! How'd you do it?"

It's possible to ski without using the poles at all. He had the poles in one hand and the camera in the other.

k*thy said...

"What if this were WWII, and we were escaping from the Nazis?"

Seems like the same skill set you'd need for the biathlon. Why do they do that in the Olympics?

Hazy Dave said...

Perhaps you should try settling down with some Ingmar Bergman movies on DVD afterward. It's a different thing when the sun is shining, but these overcast days definitely lend themselves to those thrillingly dark thoughts. We had some wax issues at Pike Lake State Park on Saturday, but the trails were in good condition overall. We saw seven deer at one point, which, at least mitigated the overall bleakness. And the long slopes with sharp turns at the bottom kept us on our toes, butts, and faces at various times!

Freeman Hunt said...

What do you use the poles for? I only have two days experience skiing, and I didn't get any use, that I can recall, out of the poles.

Freeman Hunt said...

I walk at least a mile every morning on my treadmill. It's incredibly boring. So, I imagine myself back in the Army stationed at Ft. Bragg, and I pretend that I'm in formation and we're doing our morning run.

Treadmill here too. I imagine I'm in a big, clear sphere that's powered by an elliptical-like mechanism that stays upright in the center. The sphere can roll across open land or across water. It absorbs moderate impacts well, and it's very fast.

Scott M said...

I just started back down the long road toward getting in shape and am following the "ramp up" advice of a co-worker as far as treadmills are concerned. Two weeks of brisk walking for an hour, followed by two weeks of jogging for 1 miles than finishing out the hour in a brisk walk, followed by jogging the full hour.

I never did much on treadmills, preferring instead to jog outside. We live an a dramatically hilly area now, though, so it's just not pleasant (inasmuch as jogging can be said to be pleasant, lol).

The first day I did the brisk walk for an hour, when I got off and headed to the locker room, it felt like I was floating. Similar to the sensation you get after getting off a trampoline. It felt like I was using someone else's legs...

Deborah said...

Allan s: You can file a FOIA and get your father's military records. If you need any help, I can send you a form, or you could look it up using Google.

Alan, my father's military records are among those destroyed in the fire back in the 1970's.

Ann Althouse said...

"What do you use the poles for?"

In cross-country skiing you use them a lot to extend the glide of each ski. You do a lot with the upper body through the skis, and you can make it a much more strenuous exercise with the way you use the poles.