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Is Cross-Country Skiing in Trouble?

Let's face it, Cross-Country skiing will probably never be American's number 1 sport? Although there are many reasons for this, the principle one is the following:

Cross-Country Skiing is too Awesome to have universal appeal because...

It's too hard for most fat-assed Americans.

Now, I trust that the worthy readers of CyclovaXC aren't going to find fault or objection with that comment since the fact that you are reading this page at all shows you are fairly familiar with badassery. Perhaps you, as well as I, lament the detriment to the people watching scene which occurs due to the fact that so few of our objects of observation are out their pushing the kickboards up semi-vertical country hills (thus producing an exhorbidant amount of what I like to call...cottage cheese).

Cross-Country Skiing is hard, that's not debatable. To have fun with it, you have to make it the center of your existence. You have to eat right and train regularly and none of this is easy (believe me, after being out of the loop for several years, I'm finding just how difficult it is).

But aside from the physical demands, there is also the technical problem. It takes a LOOOOOONG time to learn how to properly wax a ski or to identify the fifty billion types of snow you're likely to encounter. It takes patience when there is no snow, and experience when you have weird conditions (like a classical race in the rain...just try to get kick THEN).

And on top of everything...there's also the COLD to deal with (and that's a deal breaker for about 99% of the public).

Yes, Cross-Country skiing is a niche sport that will never be mainstream. If you go to anywhere in the US and just mention Minnesota, or Wisconsin, the response will be a shiver, a denouncement, and a declaration that those areas aren't inhabitable.

Well, I'm here to tell you (as you already know...but it's worth repeating in print) that those people are MORONS! In fact, it's all the difficulties of XC skiing that makes it great!

Cross-Country skiing isn't a sport, it's an artform! It's a Zen lifestyle that will reveal to you the mysteries of the universe! It's the ten fold WAY my friends! all delicate and beautiful things, XC Skiing needs to be nurtured and loved. You can't take a massive general education credit in a 10,000 seat lecture hall on XC, need to be apprenticed! You need to be a XC-PADAWAN! And frankly, I don't think most of the people who love this sport are doing enough. It seems to me that the numbers in XC races are dwinding (which is half the reason why we've stepped in with CyclovaXC to give this whole crazy enterprise a big shot in the arm).

And there are other factors that are eroding Cross Country skiing from the inside like a cancer, but I'm rolling up my sleeves (always prepared for a stubborn, probably ridiculous fight) and we'll be taking them all on throughout the course of this year.

Stay tuned...the craziness is about to start rolling!

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  1. Awesome article! Enjoyed the notes about MN and WI. I am a XC enthusiast from MN.

  2. yes, some good points. i wish xc skiers would pay more attention to living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. after all, us skiers are one of the first groups to be effected by climate change.