The winter Olympics have inspired me.  It has been almost two weeks since the Closing Ceremony, but I am still trying to relive my memories of that great event. 

I went snowboarding for the first time in a year and a bit.  I’ve been three times and actually landed a jump. YES!  LANDED!    

I also just went speed skating at the Calgary’s Olympic Oval on Wednesday.  I rented speed skates and made my way around the huge sheet of ice.  My initial opinion of the skates themselves – the rental pair were large and bulky and walking was extremely difficult in them.  Skating was surprisingly easy though and comfortable.  With the long blade, it is a more exaggerated hockey stride. 

What I did notice is the length of the lap though.  G*ddamn!  I couldn’t get fast enough to do a consistent cross over step at the curved part of the ice…I was too tired.  I was able to do a cross over, but due to the large radius, I was basically cutting the corner.  If I was to skater at the very inside of the inner ring, I could do four or five cross overs in a row.  I did a lap in 55 seconds.  21 seconds off the world record time. 

A few other things I noticed…. I also thought that the skater would be faster if he/she would swing their arms for momentum.  Not the case.  That extra energy output to swing your arms only hurt your endurance.  So I was quite comfortable placing my hands behind my back and just using my legs.  It was actually better this way.  Another thing I noticed was the effortless speed I achieved which caused my ears to ache due to the cold wind whipping past.  I will definitely bring a toque next time.    

Now …. Who wants to hit the ski jump??!?!?