CSM 2008 Ė Part 1, or 'How I Decided To Do Something Crazy'
By: Paul Broadbent (2008/01/16)
Itís early May 2007, and Iím sitting at my desk in London, looking out over the River Thames. Itís a bright sunny day (for a change) and my colleagues and I are discussing holidays. As an ex-pat Canadian (Iíve been here for a lo-o-o-o-o-o-n-g time), I often get asked about when the best time of year is to visit Canada. My usual response is to ask what kind of holiday a person likes e.g. culture, activity, scenery, etc.
When I said that one of my favourite times of year was winter, my colleagues were unimpressed, and asked what there was to do in the winter besides downhill skiing. I told them about the opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice-fishing, skating on the Canal, and eventually got around to Winterlude, explaining that winter is an outdoor season, just like summer.
As part of this discussion, I mentioned the Canadian Ski Marathon. When I told them that people willingly get up at dark oíclock and ski hard all day, for two days, for the fun of it, they decided that this was the sort of crazy thing Iíd do, and asked if I had ever done it. I had to say "No". For a number of reasons, although I like winter, Iíd never been that excited by cross-country skiing as a youth.
A few days later, I started thinking about the CSM again. Maybe, I thought, instead of going over to Canada with my (British) girlfriend in the summer, as we have done a few times before, we should go in February, and enjoy winter, especially as snow in southern England is as rare as hensí teeth.
Iíd also reached a decision earlier in the year that 2007 would be the year I started getting fit again. At 48 years old, I havenít been fit for quite some time, particularly since undergoing abdominal surgery a while back. Since I really hate exercise, getting fit enough to make doing the CSM a possibility was just the sort of motivator I could do with.
After that, I did nothing about it for a few weeks, having been distracted by all the little challenges that life in general throws your way. In mid-July, I pushed myself into telling a couple of colleagues that I was possibly going to do the CSM. That still didnít commit me to doing it, and in October, having come back from a hiking holiday around some of the gorges in southern France, I decided that I really, really, really must register, one of these days. Finally, having sought agreement in principle with my girlfriend towards the end of November, I registered, confirming that, as far as my colleagues are concerned, Iím crazy...
Paul Broadbent is a CSM virgin and he's inviting advice/suggestions to make his task easier. Email him at Madscanner@btinternet.com.