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One poled wonder

February 22, 2010

A week before the Canadian Ski Marathon, local skier Geoff Wade crashed at Trapps, smashing his hand so that he could no longer hold a pole.  Normal people would simply have made an eloquent expletive speech, and stayed at home for the big weekend, grumbling about how the snow “wasn’t any good anyway”.  Not so for Geoff.  Unwilling to eat the cost of the Chateau room, he went anyway to ski “just two sections”.  He skied the whole 160K…with one pole.

Sure, that’s a bit outrageous, but I’m really not that surprised.  I find the CSM to be the ultimate friendly cult, if that isn’t an oxymoron.  Little kids and their doting grandmas can readily participate in a way that is appropriate for them.  Any beginning skier can have a pleasant experience doing one section, and then retiring to the comfort of the Chateau Montebello for fine dining and comfy sleep.

But regardless of your level of ability, if you have even the slightest aspiration to challenge yourself, then you’re hooked.  Zipping along the neat track, there is always someone nearby who is cheerfully taking on that next step before your very eyes.  Numerous times every day you encounter your own personal gauntlet lying on the snow.  The supportive and energetic atmosphere of the volunteers and skiers makes picking it up the ordinary thing to do.  So, the next year you go a bit further.  Having done Coureur de Bois Gold four times, my next goal is to nab #5 for the permanent bib.  Then the award for #10 will tempt.  Heck, the oldest CdBs earn the Hugh Blachford Memorial Trophy.  There is an endless tier of recognition for challenging yourself.

So, once Geoff showed up, it was all over.  He had to keep going.  The train of skiers on the course just carried him along.

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