learn techniques for Classic-striding cross country skis

what's here

 - - skiing is fun . . . and magical
 - - a special expression of what makes us human 

 - - get comfortable on skis 
 - - fun moves 
 - - effective motion patterns 
 - - games with other people 
 - - burn calories - stay healthy 

 - - sequence of learning stages 

 - - walking - running - bicycling - skating 
 - - rollerskiing 

see also


Why Learn? 

  • it's fun to move with control in a new environment
  • it's fun to feel the glide, and fun to go faster
  • it's fun to feel new rhythms (like the "syncopation" of offset pole timing)
  • allows you to ski with a wider range of other people
  • allows you to burn more calories faster, in a wider variety of trails and conditions

a special expression of what's makes us human

There are several good payoffs from learning cross country skiing techniques -- getting good winter exercise, making fun moves, skiing with other people. 

For me the most interesting is that learning cross country skiing techniques is a special expression of what makes us uniquely human.  Special because it brings together the key things that identify us as human: 

  1. the mystery of sensitizing our perceptions to new triggers 
  2. the unconscious learning by our muscle controllers 
  3. our feelings of the joy of gliding and the power of pushing -- and the transition between them. 
  4. our conceptual models of correct technique 
  5. our easy copying from our eye's view of a fellow-skier's motions to our muscles' timing coordination. 
  6. our ability to receive new conceptual models and advice from other humans through vibrations in the air and black and white drawings on a sheet of paper. 

Animals have 1 and 2 and 5 -- and I think also 3 -- but not 4 and 6.  

Computers can have some form of 4 and 6, but not 2 and 5, and definitely not 3. 

Robots can have some of 1 and 2, but usually the core of those is straightforward programming from the conceptual model, and the "non-conceptual" adaptation is only for fine-tuning.  Robots definitely can have some version 4 and 6.  But they do not have 3 -- and 5 is very difficult for them.  

It is only us humans that bring together all six of these characteristics.  And the learning of cross country skiing techniques is one of the strongest expressions of their combination. 

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What to Learn? 

 - - Get comfortable on skis 
 - - Start some glide and weight transfer 
 - - Committed Balance on one ski 
 - - Poles -- timing and advanced techniques 
 - - Hill climbing -- advanced techniques 

Where to start? 

How to learn depends on your goals -- and on who you are now.  

Here's some possibilities . . .  

  • You just want to feel comfortable out there on skis and getting some healthy exercise at a cross country ski center. [ see more on this
  • You're a little athletic (or used to be), and interested to try learning some ski techniques that can add fun and a little speed. [ see more on this
  • You want to burn calories [ see more on this
  • You've got the basics and you feel confident as an "intermediate" skier, but you want to "break through" into advanced skiing -- really learn the key points of modern effective Classic striding. [ see more on this
  • You want to aerobic exercise for your heart and cardio-vascular system for life-long health [ see more on this
  • You want to achieve correct technique in your classic stride. [ see more on this
  • You want to see a sequential program of learning stages, and then decide where you fit in. [ see more on this

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