Train at Water Parks!


It was about midway through my most recent visit to US immigrations (I was bringing in my wife for the first time on my way to Wisconsin, so that resulted in about a three hour delay) that I decided I needed a little R & R. The fact that we had just flown into Florida made the choice even easier, and no sooner had her passport been stamped with some sort of temporary entry authorization, than I was in a car on my way to Disneyworld (seriously).

On our second day, we headed up to Blizzard Beach, one of Disney's two water parks. Fortunately for us we had record heat and we enjoyed our time at on the water slides and in the immense wave machines enormously.

Now, it was during one of our many sprints to the top of the various slides that something occurred to me:

Water parks are GREAT places for XC ski training!

Think about it!

What do you do all day at a water park? You run up stairs that's what!

What do you do all day in a ski race? You run up hill!

It's more or less the same!

Frankly, the whole concept of a water park is a big scam for most people because the park knows darn well that the slides are all operated by gravity and there's simply NO way the majority of the American public is going to be able to ride their slides more than...probably five or six times on any given day (the climb to the top is too much).

Disney's "there for appearances" solution was a ski lift with the obvious drawback that the line to actually ride the lift was probably a four hour wait or so.

However, you CAN beat the system by being in shape and SPRINTING up the hills to the slides...riding them all the way to the bottom...and then SPRINTING back up to the top. Best of all, you get to go to these theme parks virtually naked!

Think about it! You can essentially do an endless climb as the fact that most of the highest rides in the park are these "vertical drop" type rides that take about .2 seconds to get you back to sea level. Imagine running until you were at the point of nausea and then simply taking a .2 second rest with the added bonus of soaking yourself down to reduce body temperature and maximize your workout!

It's the perfect scenario!

Now, obviously we can't all fly down to Disneyworld for this workout, but there's a perfectly acceptable water park in Taylor's Falls (Wild Mountain) that could be used for some great summer training. The only remaining obstacle is the cost, but I'm thinking that if we could generate some sort of grass-roots movement about how great water park training is in developing Olympic athletes, maybe we could get some sort of discount, or even get sponsored by Wild Mountain to train there (I mean...aren't they AMERICAN? Don't they want to see AMERICAN ATHLETES performing well?).

Then again, if I had a free summer pass to the water park, I'd probably just ride the inner tubes all day with a beer in my hand...but if you give me a minute or two I could probably come up with some nonsense article explaining how THAT was great training for something or other as well...

Sumo perhaps?...

Golf?...
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