AHS Students XC Ski

There are many great and spectacular things in the world that were created following the combination of two ideas. The components each idea consists of are good, but following their synthesis, they create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. A spoon and fork fuse to create a spork, a much more useful and efficient eating device. Take a sock, and add glove-like digit compartments to it, and what do you get? Toesy socks! Pochahantas + the color blue = James Cameron’s Avatar . The point is, if you take two things that are cool and put them together, you oftentimes get something even better! Arguably one of the best of these wonderful combinations is cross country skiing. Cross country skiing (or XC skiing, its fancy acronym) is a winter sport that involves propelling oneself with skis and poles over snowy terrain. (Think cross country running, but on skis instead of shoes.) A devoted group of Ames High School students have embarked on cross country skiing adventures this winter at various locations around Ames. "My favorite parts [of cross country skiing] are the fitness and skiing with all of my fun friends," said senior Sophie Pierce, an avid cross country skier. "My whole family does it, too." It’s a group activity for many sport devotees. No one wants to suffer through the winter cold alone! "I enjoy the companionship of cross country skiing," said sophomore Martha Ryan. "I can make a lot of friends doing it, also." Not only do students participate in cross country skiing for fun, but it’s a great workout too. "If you go fast, you can burn a lot of calories," Pierce said. Cross country skiing is also less strenuous than other forms of exercise, such as running. Pierce says that it’s like running, but "without all the impact, so it’s good on your joints." And Ryan says she likes that it "doesn’t give shin splints." "You can get a good workout even if you don’t think you are," said junior Elliott Russell. And with every form of exercise, with work comes the inevitable visible results. "It’s much better than other forms of exercise because it sculpts," said junior Aaron Ackerman. "I like how good it makes my legs look." So where are the best spots in Ames for getting the thighs and calves of your dreams? Some favorite skiing locations include Carr Woods, the ISU cross country course, and north of Ada Hayden lake. Pierce also says she would like to have cross country skiing be a club at Ames High. So could there possibly be "iSki" in the future for AHS? Hopefully, because it’s also a very fun word to say. (Another possible suggestion: iCurling?) There is a limit to the sports that one can participate in outside in these chilly, snowy winter months, and cross country skiing is a perfect way to be active until this plethora of snow melts. "I like exercising outside, [but] I can’t run [right now] with all of the ice on the ground," said Pierce. When a major ice-slippage risk prevents jogging outside, and Jack Frost destroys your dreams of biking and being active outdoors safely, there is still hope. Find some friends, find a field, and strap on those skis! (Wear warm socks, preferrably toesies.)