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Thoughts on the "Knockout Birkie" Story

This article is a response to an article I just read on Birkie.com, if you haven't read that article, click here (it's worth it).

The article is about a skier who accidentally got punched in the face just before the race started.  He got "punched" by a dude who was warming up by swinging around his arms without looking.  Now, I've done that hundreds of times I suppose and reading this story made me cringe.  One tends to swing his/her arms pretty hard and I could see how contacting with somebody's face could cause considerable damage.

But all of this raises the question...how useful is it to swing your arms around like a madman before the start of a race?  I don't think that's a warm-up in the sense that it prepares your muscles for exertion.  I think it's more something that you do to get the blood flowing through your quickly freezing fingers.

Also, I realize that people get pretty worked up at the start of major ski races, but is it really so hard to condition ourselves to take a quick look around before we start swinging our arms like lunatics?  How hard is it to understand that the Birkie has thousands of people milling about a very small place, and you aren't afforded the same luxuries of space and behavior that you can get away with at smaller races?

I realize it was cold at this year's Birkie, but I can't remember if I swung my arms around even once.  Actually, what I did to stay warm was stick a couple of Farm and Fleet toe warmers on my thighs.  Having done that at this year's Birkie, I might start doing that at EVERY race because I was TOASTY warm at the starting line (and I didn't have to cold-cock anyone to get that way).

Seriously folks, skiers have enough problems with snowmobilers and other riff-raff to deal with.  We can't be knocking each other unconscious. 

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